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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 

Facts, Features and (occasional) Fallacies 
reported in Cambridge Newspapers 

summarised by 

Mike Petty 


Most of these stories originally appeared in the Cambridge Daily/Evening/News or the 
Cambridgeshire Weekly News, its sister title. 

They are supplemented by some articles published in the 
Cambridge Independent Press or Cambridge Chronicle 

Most were featured in my ‘Looking Back’ column in the Cambridge News from 1996-2014 

The complete ‘Cambridgeshire Scrapbook’ of which this is a small section is published online at 

bit.ly/CambsCollection 

I have digital and other copies of most of the stories summarised. 

I hope to publish these online one day. If you would like them in the meantime then please get in 

touch. 

The original volumes are housed in the Cambridgeshire Collection at Cambridge Central Library 
where there are many other indexes dating back to 1770. 

They also have detailed newspaper cuttings files on over 750 topics that have been compiled since the 

1960s. 

Newspapers sometimes get things wrong. I copy things out incorrectly. Do check 
There are a multitude of spelling and layout errors. Please forgive or correct them 
News never stops but this file was finished on 31 August 2016. 

I will maintain supplements and corrections - contact me for anything you need 
Please make what use of these notes that you may. Kindly remember where they came from 
See my website - www.mikepetty.org.uk for further notes. 

Mike Petty, Stretham 
2017 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1897 03 13 

Huntingdon militia train away, p3 
1897 03 30 

Huntingdon Working Men’s Club, p3 
1897 06 16 

Parental neglect, Huntingdon, p3 * 

1897 06 16 

At Huntingdon Borough Sessions a man and his wife were charged with neglecting to keep their 
children in a proper manner. Mr Beresford, Inspector of Nuisances for Huntingdon, said he found the 
room in a most filthy state. There were only a few things in the room, besides a heap of old rags in a 
corner which seemed to make a bed for the children, and the stench was most terrible. He saw three or 
four children without shoe or stocking on; the youngest was outside the front door with only a torn 
shirt on. He only found a small portion of bread, a little piece of butter, and a little sugar in the house. 
This was all they had 

1898 01 07 

Huntingdon County Hospital, p3 * 

1898 01 13 

Huntingdonshire Licenced Victuallers Association formed, p4 
1898 05 06 

Murderous assault, Huntingdon workhouse, p6 * 

1898 05 10 

Huntingdon was thrown into a great state of excitement, when it was became known that a murderous 
assault had been committed on an inmate of the workhouse known as "Tunkey” by another inmate 
alias "Curly”. It appears that after dinner the men adjourned to they wood shop for the purpose of 
smoking their pipes when all of a sudden Curly seized an axe and dealt Tunkey a terrible blow on the 
head sending him to the ground. The poor old men scampered away to acquit the porter, and in the 
meantime the assailant delivered other deadly blows upon the unfortunate man's skull. Curly then 
escaped from the back of the premises, and, crossing the common, was last seen by some boys 
making his way up Oxmire Lane 

1898 05 25 

Huntingdon accident mail cart, p2 * 

1898 05 31 

Huntingdon mail cart, p3 
1898 06 01 

Among Huntingdon folk the prevailing topic is the St Neots poisoning case, all interest being centred 
in it, save and except when the judges attendants, in their rich attire, momentarily withdraw the 
attention of the admiring public to their shapely calves. Inside the court Superintendent Copping did 
his best to squeeze as many bona fide pressmen into the space as possible, and to reject those who laid 
claim to be knights of the quill without satisfactorily proving it. Yesterday was the opening day and 
many local celebrities were present. The judge said the only important case was that of Walter 
Horsford who was committed for the murder of Annie Holmes at St Neots 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1898 06 06 

Today we gathered in the little court of Huntingdon, which has become so familiar to us during the 
past week, conscious that within a few minutes we should be witness to the last dread incidents of the 
trial of Walter Horsford, the ruddy young farmer who for the last four days had occupied that corner 
seat over there in the dock. How the prisoner took the ghastly recital of the death struggle of Mrs 
Annie Holmes could not be seen but to the ordinary hearers the narration of the horrible incidents was 
sufficiently fearsome. After 25 minutes the twelve good men and true returned and the Foreman rose 
and with a somewhat broken voice replied to the usual question from the Clerk of the court, "Guilty." 
"Walter Horsford" said the Clerk, "you have been convicted of the crime of wilful murder. What have 
you to say why sentence of death should not be passed upon you?" A momentary spasm passed over 
his face, his lower lip quivered as with quavering voice he replied "I have only to say that I am an 
innocent man.” 

1898 06 27 

Huntingdon death inhabitant, p3 * 

1898 08 03 

Huntingdon accident, p3 

1899 02 21 

On April 25th 1599 Oliver Cromwell was born at Huntingdon. On April 25th 1899 meetings will be 
held in Huntingdon to celebrate the three -hundredth anniversary of the birth of its greatest son. What 
form these celebrations should taken has not yet been decided. There is talk of erecting a statue of 
Cromwell and the authorities of the Grammar School, which was Cromwell’s school, have resolved to 
signalise the occasion by making an appeal for funds for its re-building. 

1899 03 03 

Huntingdon infectious diseases 
1899 04 28 

Under the auspices of the Free Church Federation the Cromwell tercentenary was celebrated at 
Huntingdon. Flags and bunting were liberally displayed, and the town wore a holiday aspect. About 
500 people sat down to a public luncheon. An afternoon demonstration on Market Hill numbering 
thousands of people opened with the singing of the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” 

1899 09 22 

Another accident Huntingdon mail, p3 * 

1904 06 15 

One day only. The one exhibition in the world that has no counterpart: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and 
congress of Rough Riders of the World headed and personally introduced by Col W.F. Cody, ‘Buffalo 
Bill’. Three special trains, 500 horses, 800 people. 100 Redskin braves including the famous warriors 
of the Sioux, Ogallallas, Brutes, Uncapappas, Cheyenne and Apache tribes in Indian pastimes and war 
dances. Includes the Battle of Little Big Horn, Custer’s last rally. The vast arena illuminated at night 
by special electric light plants. The entire grand programme will positively be presented twice daily 
(Rain or Shine). Dennis James’ Fields, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge. Friday June 24th - Advert 

1907 03 07 

In the recent County Council elections for Castle Ward, Cambridge both A.B. Whibley and James 
Wootten received equal votes. Both candidates are elected but neither can vote until one or other 
petitions the High Court, which is an expensive process. In a similar incident in Huntingdonshire 
candidates drew lots but after the 1857 parliamentary election in Huntingdon both Mr Fellowes and 
Mr Heathcote sat in the House of Commons but were unable to vote until Heathcote gave way. 07 03 
07 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1909 10 08 

The smaller of two weights of the clock in the tower of Swavesey church fell with a crash on Sunday 
when the wire broke. There was nobody in the church at the time but Mr J. Bridgford, who was in the 
yard of the Manor opposite, heard the crash. It was repaired by Mr E. Trench Smith, clockmaker of 
Huntingdon, and set going again to the satisfaction of the dwellers in Church End and of persons 
hurrying to catch trains. CWN 09 10 08 

1910 02 25 

A fine aviation ground is to be established Huntingdon on the site of the old racecourse due to the 
enterprise of a syndicate to be known as ‘Aviation Courses Limited’ who hope to have flying in 
progress during the Whitsuntide holidays. It will be started under the aegis of the Royal Aero Club 
supported by Lord Sandwich and a Huntingdon and Midland Counties Aviation Club will be formed. 
A grandstand is being erected, the Humber Company are erecting workshops and they anticipate the 
co-operation of the Bleriot School of Aviation. There will be periodical race-meetings and 
international gatherings of aviators 10 02 25o 

1910 05 06 

Aviation meeting Portholme meadow Huntingdon - 10 05 06d 
1910 07 22 

A Huntingdon hotel received a telephone message from Thrapston to say that the steward of the Earl 
and Countess of Dudley was anxious to arrange for them to stay in the district. A motor car was 
despatched to fetch him and he inspected the accommodation, asking for a spring mattress to be added 
to one of the beds. He also interviewed a hairdresser and arranged for a man to dress her ladyship’s 
hair. As his luggage had not arrived he was compelled to go to an outfitter to purchase a nightshirt. 

But suspicions were aroused, the police were contacted and the ‘steward’ left suddenly, much more 
unostentatiously than he had arrived. 10 07 22e 

1910 09 16 

The past week has been marked by an unusual number of fatalities. At Huntingdon a poor woman in a 
fit of insanity cut the throat of her infant child and then committed suicide. At Littleport a little girl of 
six years of age was run over by a farm cart and killed. A Stansted carpenter was knocked down by an 
express train and the body of a St Ives man was found in the river at Huntingdon. The Over mail cart 
driver blew his nose and immediately fell to the ground dead, probably caused by the rupturing of a 
blood vessel in the brain 10 09 16c 

1911 03 31 

A scheme for the development of Port Holme, Huntingdon, as an aviation centre is virtually an 
established fact. Mr James Radley, who was the first aviator to use the meadow will play a prominent 
part in the undertaking. Hangars will be placed on the meadow near the Great Northern Railway 
where his original hangar was erected. Works have already been taken for the construction of 
aeroplanes and numerous sheds are expected to be erected shortly. Most aviators consider Port Holme 
to be the best aviation ground in England, easily accessible from London and the North 1 1 03 3 If 

1911 11 03 

The airman who made two wide circuits of Cambridge on Wednesday evening was Mr W.B. 
Moorhouse, who had flown from Huntingdon, whither he returned in the dark, guided by the 
flarelights on Portholme. The journey of 40 miles occupied 42 minutes - 1 1 1 1 03 

1911 12 08 

Mr Moorhouse made a fine cross-country flight from Huntingdon aerodrome, landing at Northants 
County Golf Course. After lunch he made a circuit of several villages before returning. He found 
travelling slow and the cold was so intense he had to descend to a lower altitude. On Tuesday he made 
a flight by moonlight, making a number of circuits, descending safely by the light of petrol flares 1 1 
12 08b 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1911 12 29 

Several Cambridge people cycled to Huntingdon to see the flying at Portholme Meadows. They saw 
two machines in the air and watched Mr Moorhouse make a beautiful spiral volplane (guide with the 
engine cut off), then give chase to some sea-gulls. The landing ground was practically flooded and 
when descending his machine entered the water, causing the tail to lift and turning it completely over. 
Down it went into the water with Mr Moorhouse in the well of the machine. Numbers rushed to help 
but before they arrived they saw the aviator come crawling out from under the plane and walk knee 
deep to a horse and trolley. He seemed none the worse for his involuntary cold plunge 11 12 29 also 
another plane crashes on landing 

1912 01 26 

The long-sustained wet weather and recent snowfall have brought serious floods. Rising waters have 
caused the stoppage of the chain ferries to Chesterton, the towing path under Victoria Bridge was 
submerged and meadows between Grantchester and Newnham are under water. A ride on the Great 
Eastern Railway from Huntingdon to Cambridge presents a view of an immense lake studded with 
trees and the large Portholme Meadow is under water to a considerable depth. At St Ives basements in 
Bridge Terrace and kitchens at Filbert’s Walk are flooded. 12 01 26b 

1912 04 26 

Mr W.B.R. Moorhouse covered the 80 miles between Huntingdon and Brooklands at a speed of a mile 
a minute. Steering a 50 h.p. Gnome engined Bleriot monoplane, the aviator started at 7.05 am, the 
weather being perfect. A little more than an hour later he was passing over Hendon but then ran into a 
thick mist at Hampton Court and had to descend to within 60ft of the earth in order to steer a good 
course. He made a safe landing at Brooklands at 8.25am. 12 04 26f 

2923 07 12 

Nardini, the Italian airman, landed at Huntingdon after an adventurous journey from Birmingham. His 
destination was Hendon but he lost his way in the Midlands and ran into a terrific thunderstorm, his 
machine being buffeted in an alarming manner by the hurricane. Suddenly he observed an open space, 
and making a volplane landed by pure luck in the centre of Huntingdon aerodrome. The airman was 
almost frozen and his hands were numbed. The monoplane suffered some slight damage in the storm 
12 07 12h 

1912 08 02 

When the Women’s Suffrage Association held open-air meetings at Abington and Linton numbers 
attending were noticeably large in proportion to the size of the village and a good many have their 
names as ‘friends of Women’s Suffrage’. At St Ives a meeting was held on the Market Place where 
about 300 listened with sympathetic attention to Miss H. Frazer, a well-known speaker for the cause 
who has come to help in Suffrage propaganda. She also addressed a similar meeting at Huntingdon 
where a large and orderly crowd of men showed deep interest and a resolution in favour of women’s 
suffrage was passed without a single dissentient 12 08 02 c d 

1912 08 09 

Ever since his undergraduate days Mr Will Moorhouse of Huntingdon has devoted himself with 
unremitting zeal and undaunted pluck to mastering the science of aviation. Now he has set a new 
record. With his newly-married wife and the aeronautical correspondent of the Daily Telegraph he has 
flown the channel starting from Douai and arriving at Ashford two hours later. This is the first time 
the Channel has been crossed by an aviator with two passengers. A serious accident attended the 
forced descent owing to a storm. The airman and his passengers escaped, but the new Breguet 
airplane was badly damaged. 12 08 09a & b 

1913 01 17CIP 
Huntingdon workhouse 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


191301 31 

William Barnard Rhodes Moorhouse, the well-known Huntingdon airman, was accused of driving a 
powerful racing car near Gloucester in such a reckless way that it frightened two horses being driven 
by a farm labourer. In trying to control them the man had been knocked down and killed. The car was 
travelling at great pace and made a terrific noise. Moorhouse admitted excessive speed but there was 
nothing to show this had made the horses shy. He knew nothing of the accident until he’d reached 
Gloucester. The jury found him guilty but with a strong recommendation to mercy. He was fined £20 
13 01 31 p9 CLP 

13 02 21 pl2 

Huntingdon County Hospital report 
1913 03 07 

Huntingdon Chamber of Commerce discussed the need for a more adequate supply of artisans’ 
dwellings in connection with the Town Council’s proposal to construct a new road to open up the 
Lammas Lands at the back of the Cromwell House Estate. A local company might be formed to 
develop a portion of the land or, alternatively, there could be a co-partnership housing scheme. There 
was also concern about delays in serving customers at Huntingdon Post Office owing to only one 
clerk being at the counter. 13 03 07 pl2 CIP 

1913 03 28 

A new water plane designed and constructed at the Huntingdon Aeroplane Works by Messrs J. Radley 
and Gordon England was taken to the Port Holme in the hope of a trial flight. High winds made this 
impossible until Tuesday morning, when the breaking of a driving chain just as a start was being 
made, still further delayed operations. The first flight was made on Thursday, Mr England, covering 
about two miles at 20 to 30 feet from the ground, and demonstrating the power of the machine to 
remain in the air with only two of the three engines running 13 04 1 1 pl2 CIP # c.26.1 

1913 04 25 

Local inventions patents - W.G. Pye, G. Maddox, Steam Works, Hartford Road Huntingdon have 
applied for a patent relating to a folding hood for motor vehicles 

1913 05 11 

Huntingdon car through shop window 
1913 07 25 

The proposed co-partnership scheme for the provision of artisans’ dwellings in Huntingdon would 
buy a field in American Lane from Mr G. Montagu at half the proper price. Five pairs of cottages 
would be built on half the field at a total cost of £2,000. The Government would advance £1,300 
leaving the society to find £700. The tenants would have fixity of tenure and by purchase of shares 
they could live rent free. 13 07 25 pl2 CIP 

1913 07 25 

P.C. Squires testified that a car passed through Huntingdon Market Place at a very slow pace, making 
a tremendous noise. There was a suffragette meeting on at the time. The driver, a cinematograph 
proprietor, said the lever which controlled the half-compression had slipped back and stuck which 
caused the car to make such a noise. He drove slowly because it would have been dangerous to do 
otherwise. An employee of Murkett Bros, motor engineers, said the cut-out was open allowing the 
exhaust gasses to escape without passing through the silencer. The driver was fined. 13 07 25 pl2 

1913 12 05 
Huntingdon arson 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1914 09 11 CIP 

Irene Russell arrived home at Huntingdon after an adventurous journey from Germany. She was at a 
school at Goslar, in the Hartz Mountains, when war broke out and had to stay in a hotel for three 
weeks before she had a chance to get away. She made for the Dutch frontier and after four days of 
wearisome travelling got through via Flushing and Folkestone. She was politely treated by the 
German officials but they are very bitter against England 
1914 09 25 

King inspects soldiers, Huntingdon 

1914 10 23 

Huntingdon telephone improvement 

1915 09 10 

Huntingdon Gem cinema extension agreed 
1921 02 16 

Parachute descent by Major Orde Lees witnessed by several thousand in Huntingdon Road meadow - 
2102 16a, b 

1924 01 04 

The former Clocks and Gramophone Works at Huntingdon have been purchased by the firm of J. E. 
Hough Ltd of the Edison Bell Works, Peckham, and are to be opened early this year for the 
manufacture of gramophone records and wireless parts. Employment to between 300 and 400 hands 
will be given by this new industry. The factory has remained inactive for a year and the town has 
suffered as a result. It will be used for making the well known “Winner” records. Powerful engines 
still in the building will 

be made use of, but it will also be necessary to introduce additional steam power and heat 

1924 05 1 lc 

Coming! Bronco Bill’s Wild West exhibition and mammoth circus. Broncho Bill’s world famous 
elephants. Broncho Bill’s new group of performing prairie horses and 20 other big acts. Monday next, 
Midsummer Common, Cambridge. The great show will also visit Royston and Huntingdon - Advert 

1925 07 1 1 

Part of a boot supplied by a Cambridge firm has led to the identity of an officer who fell in the first 
year of the war. During the work of exhumation and reburial recently carried out in France there was 
discovered part of a boot stamped with the name of Messrs G. Dewberry & Son of Sidney Street. An 
examination of their books showed it belonged to a pair supplied to Lieut. R. Walmesley, late of 
Magdalene College, whose family lived in Huntingdon. 

1926 08 16 

Earthquake shocks of unusual severity were felt on Sunday morning. In Cambridge occupants were 
awakened by the rattle of windows, crockery and furniture. Two residents in West Road were aroused 
from sleep by the oscillation of their beds; a lofty wardrobe continued to shake and its contents to 
rattle for some time. Railwaymen on night duty said the telegraph poles rattled and the windows of 
signal cabins shook. Several residents of Huntingdon felt three tremors 

1927 05 23 

The coming of age of Viscount Hinchingbrooke was celebrated at Huntingdon. Luncheon was served 
to the tenantry & Colonel Chichester, Chief Constable, on behalf of the tenants presented Lord 
Hinchingbrooke with a magnificent travelling clock and weather barometer. In the evening the house 
staff and employees on the farms and gardens were entertained to tea at which his Lordship was 
presented with a handsome silver inkstand. The band of the 5th Hunts Battalion, Northants Regiment 
played for dancing. 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1927 12 31 

A serious fire broke out at the Edison Bell Gramophone Factory, Huntingdon, as a result of which 400 
employees, the majority girls, are thrown out of work. The flames spread with great rapidity and as 
the majority of the buildings were of wood they were soon caught in the blaze. The works are the 
property of Messrs Hough Bros, the well-known gramophone record makers of Camberwell and have 
been in existence a little over three years. They have also added the manufacture of wireless 
appliances. Lost in the fire were many valuable stocks of records and electrical apparatus. 

1929 11 28 

An amazing story was told at Huntingdon police court when a woman was charged with obtaining 
goods and money by false pretences. Edward Elphick, house furnisher of Huntingdon, said she had 
paid with a cheque that was returned marked ‘No account’. Albert Bigmore, jeweller of Ramsey told a 
similar story. Police said she had made many untruthful statements. She came here about a year ago 
from Essex where she left her husband and four children and lived at Warboys with another man. She 
then moved to Wistow, Woodhurst, St Ives and Houghton before taking a cottage at Hartford. 
Wherever she lived she left behind debts and non-payment of rent. She wrote many letters to herself 
which purported to be from her uncle promising large sums of money and a motor car. She also 
claimed to be the widow of a naval officer. None of these were true. 

1930 09 19 

The Edison Bell Gramophone and Radio Works at Huntingdon employ over 300 people. About 
30,000 ‘Radio’ records are made each week; they are stamped out between dies and passed to girls to 
put the edge and finishing touches. Various gramophones and wirelesses are manufactured including 
compact two and three valve ‘all-main’ sets in preparation for the Radio Exhibition. Amongst the 
machinery used are automatic lathes which need no human attention. 30 09 12 

1930 11 15 

Messrs Windover’s disused motor carriage works in George Street, Huntingdon have been sold. For 
years the firm employed hundreds of skilled workers until they acquired more extensive works in 
London. It was a sad sight to see the great works standing idle but now Chivers are to establish a 
factory for canning vegetables, the most up-to-date of its kind in the country. Already local vegetable 
growers are alive to the fact that a regular output for their produce will be available close at hand. 

30 1115 

1931 04 10 

Lord Sandwich has offered to sell Huntingdon council three acres of land between Hartford Road and 
Primrose Lane for a housing site; ten houses in Hartford Place and two in St Clement’s Passage are to 
be registered as clearance areas. But land in the village of Hartford will not now be incorporated into 
Huntingdon. 31 04 10c 

1931 05 08 

Huntingdon Housing Committee felt the time had arrived when they could not support any further 
housing schemes except in conjunction with the clearing of slums. There were 97 applicants on the 
housing list but building new houses would be a burden on the rates. It was difficult to find a site 
alongside a main road; the last scheme took up a number of allotments but it was better to provide 
houses and gardens than allotments. 31 05 08a 

1931 06 12 

Huntingdon councillors agreed to purchase four acres of land at Ambury Hill for a new housing 
scheme, at £160 per acre. Their intention is to clear the slum areas and give people better houses to 
live in. They went ahead despite warnings that the total indebtedness of Huntingdon had increased by 
over £70,000 since 1915. They had been told there were 90 families on the waiting list, but could only 
find 45; there were only three men who wanted to get married and wanted homes. But even if the land 
was set out as a playground for children it would do no harm and there would be little expense. 3 1 06 
12i 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1931 06 19 

Two men who had lived together and then parted through a quarrel are the central figures in a tragedy. 
One is a painter and decorator of Swiss nationality who now lies in Huntingdon hospital in a serious 
condition as the result of a gunshot wound in the left side. The other, a general decorator, is dead: he 
shot himself when police tried to enter the window of his house at Brampton. 31 06 19f g h 

1931 06 26 

Plans for children to be accommodated at St Neots Poor Law Institution were rejected by the 
Government who say children should not be placed in an institution intended for the sick and invalid 
poor. But the Guardians cannot afford to procure another home for them. At Huntingdon the present 
children’s quarters and old laundry could be adopted to take 50 tramps on the separate cell system. 31 
06 26c 

1931 07 11 

Huntingdon council are still experiencing difficulties in their plans to replace slum houses with 
modern dwellings: can they obtain the ground, would old people be prepared to vacate old houses for 
more suitable ones and would they be able to pay the rent. How could they rent new houses at five 
shillings a week all-inclusive when the old ones were more? The whole things turned upon figures 
and they did not quite know what the figures were. 31 07 lib 

1931 07 31 

A serious accident occurred during a performance by Capt. Barnard’s aerial circus at Port Holme, 
Huntingdon following a passenger flight. A young woman had just been up for a trip and, on 
alighting, walked around the wings into the revolving propeller. The blade struck her left shoulder, 
smashing the bone. It was not revolving at great speed, otherwise she would have been killed outright. 
The force of the blow stopped the propeller instantly. Despite the mishap the programme of 
aeronautics continued and the passenger flights proved very popular. 31 07 31a 

1932 07 08 

A new oak altar and side chapel was consecrated at All Saints’ Church, Huntingdon. It is the gift of 
the Countess of Sandwich in memory of her mother, Bessie McLeod Leggett, and was designed by 
J.M. Cowper who was responsible for the Warriors Chapel at Westminster Abbey. 32 07 08 

1932 08 26 

Of Huntingdon Town Football Club little can be written. Owing to poor support by the public and 
heavy travelling expenses, they are in debt to the extent of £60 and have decided not to continue in the 
Peterborough League. It is hoped that things will improve. The public must rally round more if they 
desire Huntingdon to remain on the football map. 32 08 26h 

1933 01 07 

Huntingdon councillors rejected proposals to expand the town boundaries to include Hartford. It 
would cost too much to maintain the sewerage, lighting, water supply and scavenging and there is 
ample land near America Lane for future development. 33 01 07 

1933 04 10 

1933 06 16 

Huntingdon water scheme - 33 04 10c 

The Edison Bell factory at Huntingdon, which at one time was a busy workshop for hundreds of 
hands making gramophone records and parts for wireless, was offered for sale. A large company 
assembled but there appeared no special demand for the premises which were offered with some of 
the important fixed machinery. It was withdrawn at £10,000. The disposal of the modern plant and 
machinery occupied two days and buyers were attracted from a wide area. 33 06 16a 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1933 10 05 

The Huntingdon car park attendant was accused of assaulting a man on Mill Common where the car 
park is situated on market day. George King said he’d been talking to Mr Richardson, a greengrocer 
of Buckden, who’d said he could have some cabbages from his lorry. But the attendant had come up 
and told him to put them down, then punched him in the eye when he refused to do so. The attendant 
claimed King had used filthy language and not answered his questions. 33 10 05 

1934 01 22 

In the new ward at Huntingdon Infirmary people aged between 70 and 80 have to go up two flights of 
stairs to their own bathrooms to get an early morning wash. It was the most ridiculous place he had 
ever seen for a modern hospital, Mr F.W. Figg told Guardians The need of a lift was never more 
apparent yet of 16 members on the Management Committee only four were present when the question 
was discussed. The title ‘Management Committee’ was a misnomer, he said. 34 01 22 

1934 02 19 

The overcrowding of the casual wards at Huntingdon Institution is alarming Guardians. A hundred 
casuals are being accommodated in a building with only 42 beds. Many have to sleep on the floor 
between the beds and in the dining room. The last time the problem was only temporary, due to fruit 
picking but now it happens almost every night. Last month’s admissions were 1,204 compared to 290 
for the same period last year. 34 02 19 

1934 02 19 

Cambridge showed little interest in the 100 hunger marchers who arrived from Huntingdon. They 
halted at Girton College where jugs of tea and buns were given. About 200 people including members 
of the University Socialist Society and Anti War Movement escorted them into town. Darkness was 
falling as a rally was held on Parker’s Piece where a small crowd gathered before they made their way 
to the Corn Exchange where they spent the night. But police were accused of provocation when they 
forcibly expelled them on Monday morning. 34 02 19, 34 02 26 

1934 02 20 

The misconduct of spectators at a Huntingdon Town football on Christmas day has resulted in the 
ground being closed for a fortnight. 34 02 20 

1934 08 08 

Constable C. Hine of St Ives police and his young lady friend, Miss Lily Wilkinson of Hartford, 
embarked in a punt at Huntingdon for a quiet afternoon on the river. But a stiff breeze resisted the 
progress of the boat as it neared the arches of the bridge and PC Hine seized a chain hanging from the 
stonework. At once a distressing situation developed: man and craft parted company, the policeman 
was left dangling in the water while the punt with its alarmed occupant, drifted away. Then a second 
punt, manned by two ladies rescued him from undignified plight, a reunion was affected and a car 
despatched for dry garments. 34 08 08 

1934 09 21 

Who will give a start on his life’s career to a young Goliath of Huntingdon who at the age of 14 
weighs 16 stones and is still growing rapidly? Stanley Weaser is an ordinary, healthy young fellow 
with a zest for energetic recreation. He was fat as a baby, he has continued to be fat ever since. But he 
doesn’t mind and feels none the worse for it. He possesses pronounced ability in sketching and would 
like to be trained as a newspaper cartoonist or, if not, a carpenter. 34 09 21 

1934 10 06 

The possibility of diverting much of the heavy North Road traffic which streams almost unceasingly 
through the centre of Huntingdon was aired. But a by-pass was a long way off. There were too narrow 
roads and two dangerous corners. It was possible to use compulsory powers to widen George Street 
but Hartford Road corner was far more dangerous. Quite a number of pavements were smashed since 


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many vehicles were so big they could not get round, which caused a danger to pedestrians, councillors 
were told. 34 10 06 

1935 01 18 

Huntingdon High street improvement - 3501 18a 
1935 02 09 

Huntingdon Medical Office listed 50 properties to be considered for demolition under section 19 of 
the 1930 Housing Act. They include houses in Royal Oak Passage, Oliver’s Court, St Germain Street, 
Woodward’s Court, Castle Hill Court, Sayer’s Court, Nevitt’s cottages and St Thomas’ Court. 

Another 48 are to be dealt with under section 17 including two in Herbert’s Yard, seven in Sweeting’s 
Court and one in Manchester Place. Notices will be sent out and the council would hear objections 
from the owners 35 02 09 

1935 03 11 

A poultry farmer appeared on a charge of wilful murder after his wife had been found shot dead in 
their home at Broughton. It is but a small village but a good many people heard nothing of the 
happenings. Even picture-goers at Huntingdon did not sense a tragedy when a message was flashed on 
the screen at the Hippodrome requesting a young man in the audience to go immediately to the 
village. He was a nephew of the dead woman. 35 03 1 1 & a 

1935 06 07 

Godmanchester medical officer said only a small percentage of the houses had water closets and 
baths. He had tested 30 wells and found that in 21 the water was unfit for drinking because in dry 
weather the water from the drains ran into them. He strongly advised the council to put in a pure water 
supply. But they did not want to put great burdens on the ratepayers. During the financial crisis of 
1931 the council thought it was not time to embark on big expenses, in 1932 nothing was done and in 
1933 they’d asked Huntingdon if it was possible to draw from their water supply. 35 06 07 b & c 

1935 10 23 

The Minister of Heath criticised Godmanchester Town Council for delaying a water supply scheme 
that had been agreed with Huntingdon town council. The Town Clerk and the Medical Officer 
resigned as did two councillors. Tenders had already been submitted and it was the most 
unbusinesslike thing the Council had ever done. But the Mayor said the lowest tender was far above 
the engineer’s estimate and the Ministry had not sanctioned a loan to carry out the work. 35 10 23a 

1935 10 24 

A new school may be erected on the disused wood yard adjoining Huntingdon North Station. Lord 
Sandwich had provided 12 acres from his private park, one of the finest things ever done for 
education in the county. Provision would be made for sports pitches and probably a bathing pool. A 
beautiful set of plans had been produced but Alderman Wood Horn wanted economies made to bring 
the cost nearer the original £12,000 rather than the present £33,000 scheme. 35 10 24 

1936 02 04 

Widespread flooding occurred at Huntingdon and St Ives which one motorist says looks like an 
island. The water in the Old West is within eight inches of the top of the bank and these are being 
heightened with clay on the low places. There is also heavy seepage on the Wissey, all along the 
Middle Fen banks, at Southery Ferry and the River Lark. All banks are being patrolled by day and 
night with tugs and barges in readiness to deal with any emergency. 36 02 04b 

1936 03 28 

A Huntingdonshire branch of the Historical Association was formed in the room at Huntingdon 
Grammar School where Oliver Cromwell learned his lessons. This was the oldest building in England 
still used as a school. East Anglia was very backward in the study of local history and students 


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suffered a good deal because of the inaccessibility of local records. More trouble should be taken to 
preserve them and much could be done to make careful copies 36 03 28a 

1936 05 08 

Huntingdon discuss air raid precautions - 36 05 08a 
1936 05 15 

Huntingdon councillors discussed demolition orders on various properties. Slade Cottage in St Peter’s 
Hill needed repair and had no water supply. But the owner said this was not necessary as the 
occupiers got their water from a near-by spring. Two shops in St Germain Street would become 
unsafe if the adjacent house was demolished while new drains had been put in and water laid on to 
Rectory Cottages. But no. 3 Newton’s Court and 4 Hartford Comer should be demolished within in six 
months. 36 05 15 

1936 07 22 

No air raid precautions were being taken in London and it was left to Huntingdon to decide whether 
they should take any or not. As they had two aerodromes so near it is quite possible that they might be 
attacked and have ‘planes over the town. The Government expects local authorities to provide a gas- 
proof shelter and appoint air-raid wardens in each street but does not say who should pay for them. It 
was agreed to form an air raid precautions committee 36 07 22 & a 

1935 10 03 

A garage attendant in Ermine Street Huntingdon told an inquest that a Morris Minor two-seater tourer 
had pulled up beside the petrol pump. The driver asked for two gallons of petrol and he commenced to 
pump it after opening the bonnet of the car to get to the tank. The filler was on the side nearest the 
pavement. As he lifted the petrol pipe to drain it the engine burst into flames igniting the fuel which 
blazed along the pavement. The driver jumped out and fell into the burning petrol, her clothes 
catching fire. Before filling he had noticed that the engine of the car was still running and had not 
been told this should not be done 35 10 03 

1936 10 15 

Some 1 ,200 children attending Huntingdon schools come from homes where the parents were too 
poor to provide an extra pair of shoes for wear in schools and for physical training. About 2,000 
children were already supplied. The council could purchase these at two shillings a pair, a total of 
£120, and would need to provide storage on school premises. It was agreed to carry this into effect. 

36 10 15b 

1936 12 19 

Murkett Brothers, automobile engineers, who have large garages in Huntingdon, Peterborough and 
Bedford, opened their new premises on the comer of Huntingdon & Histon Road in May 1931. Owing 
to the satisfactory service they have given business has developed to such an extent that an additional 
garage is shortly to be built. This will cater for commercial vehicles and heavy repairs, whilst the 
Huntingdon Road depot will be for new and second-hand cars, with light repairs and service facilities 
36 12 lOi 

1936 12 15 

Proclamations at Huntingdon - 36 12 15d 

1937 06 04 

The sale of building land in St Peter’s Road Huntingdon is being held up because of a lack of proper 
sewage. Builders are only waiting for a decision on the extension of the sewerage scheme before 
putting the land up for auction. But the council had not said how much owners would have to 
contribute to the cost of £393. Councillors decided to ask the Ministry to sanction the scheme 
provided owners made a contribution if and when the land was built upon. A similar resolution was 
passed with regard to Anchor Lane. 37 06 04 


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1937 07 07 

Charges levied by the Huntingdon Town Clerk for acting as the Council’s solicitor for securing 
ejectment orders in respect of houses served with demolition orders were described as ‘exorbitant’ by 
a councillor. It cost them £5.5s.8d to gain possession of a house rented at 2s. 6d a week with another 
14 guineas to pull the house down. The Mayor pointed out that the Town Clerk was only a part-time 
servant and when he did solicitor’s work he was entitled to solicitor’s costs. The charges were 
recoverable from house owners. The great difficulty was having to turn people into the street and 
owners naturally postponed the evil day as long as possible 37 07 07a 

1938 02 03 

Huntingdon and St Neots Public Assistance Institutions are obsolete, the latter should be closed and 
cases of sickness and infirmity concentrated at Huntingdon. They needed a hospital for 85 beds and a 
public assistance building big enough for 124. The grounds of Castle Hill House would be the best 
site; a modern hospital was out of the question but they might afford one of the bungalow type, the 
Committee was told. Cottage or ‘Sunset’ homes would be provided for the 65 other people at present 
in institutions. 38 02 03d 

1938 09 26 

Huntingdon is to establish a police reserve to replace constables called to the colours in the event of 
war. There will be a retaining fee of £1 to anyone joining with a bonus at the end of the year. Men 
would be entitled to boot allowance, refreshment and lodging allowances as other members of the 
force. When called up they would receive ten-pence a day pay. The age limit is 55. Three air raid 
sirens will be bought for use on the large police cars; they would be useful in the event of a power 
failure or in areas where there were no other air raid sirens 38 09 26b. 

1939 04 01 

Huntingdon will be able to accommodate 2,212 persons evacuated in the event of war, nearly half the 
present population of the town. The majority would be children but include 888 adults. 39 03 08b 
Rudd’s Garage and Petrol Filling Station on the Huntingdon Road is well-known to thousands of 
motorists as a place where they may obtain expert and courteous service at a reasonable charge. For 
many years it has specialised in the presentation of reliable used cars. They currently have a very 
handsome selection of the popular low horse-powered used vehicles, all spick and span and ready for 
the road and almost indistinguishable from new. They are also sole agents for the new Renault ‘Eight’ 
39 04 01 

1939 05 18 

Godmanchester council’s action in purchasing a siren for A.R.P. purposes was unauthorised and they 
must pay for it themselves. Everybody had thought the County Council would pay as they were 
responsible for public air raid warnings all over the county. But they had decided sirens were only 
needed at Fletton, Ramsey, Huntingdon, St Ives and St Neots. The Huntingdon siren, supplemented 
by one at the hosiery mills was sufficient for Godmanchester 39 05 1 8b 

1939 08 21 

Lightning strikes Trumpington general store, houses at Huntingdon - 39 08 21a 

1939 09 01 

The first 600 of the 1,100 children allotted to Huntingdon arrived at the North Station. They were 
received on the platform by officials and after being given refreshments were taken by a fleet of buses 
to the districts allotted to them. Other train loads followed at short intervals and are being cared for by 
Huntingdon residents who are doing all they can to make their little visitors as comfortable as 
possible. 39 09 01b 

1940 01 30 

Huntingdon clothier W.P. Burges, High Street, fire - 40 01 30a 


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1940 02 02 

Night Blaze. — Shortly after 2 a.m. on Tuesday the, premises of Mr. W.P. Burges, clothier and 
outfitter, of High Street, Huntingdon, were found to be on fire. The fire brigade was summoned 
immediately, and on arrival, found the rear of the premises to be well alight. The property stands in a 
fairly congested part of the High Street and access to the fire was a difficult matter for the brigade. It 
is presumed that a stove, which had recently been installed, set fire to a large wooden beam, which 
had been smouldering for some time, and was the cause of the outbreak. Mr. Burges, who does not 
live on the premises, was informed, and was soon on the spot. The brigade was hampered by the 
severe weather conditions, but a plentiful supply of water was available, and within a short time they 
were able to prevent the fire extending to surrounding properties. Apart from the damage done by the 
fire, many hundreds of pounds worth of clothing have been ruined by the water, and it is estimated 
that the total damage will reach several thousands of pounds. 

1940 02 09 
February 9, 1940 

New Stationmaster. — Mr. F. Pick worth, stationmaster at Holme, has been appointed Stationmaster at 
Huntingdon in succession to Mr. W. G. Wenman, who resigned to take up an appointment as yard, 
master at Lincoln. Mr. Pickworth; has seen service on the railway for nearly 43 years, commencing as 
a clerk on the old Great Northern Railway at Mablethorpe Lines., in 1897. 

1940 02 09 

Huntingdon Licensee. — A well-known Huntingdon licensee, Mr. Arthur Radcliffe Brattle, died in 
the High Street late on Tuesday; afternoon. Mr. Brattle, who was 74 years of age, had been to the 
barber's, and was on his way home, when he was seen to fall. Life was extinct when he was picked up. 
For many years he had been the licensee of the Queen's Head, in the High Street, and formerly held 
the licence of the Railway Inn at Brampton. 

1940 02 16 

Huntingdon's Accordionist. — Mr. Verdun Howes, of St. Mary’s. Street, Huntingdon, who is 
considered the county accordion champion, played to an audience of 2,000 at the Palace Theatre, 
Wellingborough, on Sunday. He was accorded a great reception 

1940 02 16 

"Happiness in Prison.' An interesting address was given at the Women's Bright Hour in the 
schoolroom of the Methodist Church (Huntingdon) by the Rev. G S. Tydeman, of Godmanchester, 
who spoke on 'Happiness in prison." 

1940 04 15 

Huntingdon High Street serious fire Murkitt, motor engineers - 40 04 15a 
1940 05 03 

Visit of the Duchess of Gloucester. The Duchess of Gloucester paid a private visit to Huntingdon on 
Friday, and inspected headquarters of the W.V.S., the Central workrooms, the Edwards Home for 
children and other places in the district. The Duchess appeared pleased with all she saw. 

1940 06 28 

Death of Mr. Harry Hobbs. — The death occurred in Huntingdon County Hospital on Sunday of Mr. 
Harry Hobbs, who, for the past I OVi years, had been manager of Messrs. Freeman, Hardy and Willis' 
High Street (Huntingdon) branch. Deceased, who was 49 years of age, and was a brother of Mr. Jack 
Hobbs, the England and Surrey cricketer, had been ill a long time. From August, 1914, to March, 
1918, he served as a sergeant in the 1 1th Suffolk Regt. in France, and was badly wounded several 
times, losing the sight of one eye. After a period of convalescence he returned to France and served 
behind the lines. As a member of the Cambs. and Isle of Ely Athletic Association, he figured 


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prominently in sprint events in Cambridge and district. He also played football for New Chesterton 
Institute. 

1940 12 13 

Youngest Billeting Officer? — Mrs Barbara Meadows, of Brampton. Huntingdonshire, is the executive 
billeting officer for Huntingdon, She is aged 19. 

1941 09 20 

Air raid on Huntingdon Road - photos of debris - 41 09 20b 
1941 02 14 

Target of £200,000. — Arising out of a meeting held in Huntingdon a fortnight ago, when it was 
decided to organise a War Weapons Week commencing on March 23, it has been agreed to make the 
tai'gct £200,000, although it is anticipated that this sum will be exceeded. 

1941 02 14 

Presentation — In recognition of his 30 years' service in the Huntingdonshire Constabulary, P.c. John 
Hufford, of Huntingdon Town Force, was presented with a cabinet wireless set to mark his retirement 
from the officers and constables at the police station on Friday last. The Deputy Chief Constable 
(Supt. E. Afford) made the presentation. 

1941 04 11 

Choice Joint. — An amusing incident was witnessed in the High Street, Huntingdon, last weekend. A 
small dog entered a butcher's shop and unbeknown to the man behind the counter, selected a choice 
joint. He was seen a little later trotting along with a forequarter of lamb larger than himself. And no 
one stopped him. 

1941 07 04 

Fierce blaze. — Huntingdon was the scene of a disastrous fire on Saturday afternoon, as the result of 
which a motor garage and valuable materials were totally destroyed. The outbreak was at White's 
Service garage in Stukely Road, near the railway arch. It is thought that the fire originated from a 
short circuit wire, and the damage is estimated at £1.000. 

1941 08 15 

Marvellous Escape. — As Mr. L. Curtis, a porter on the L.N.E.R. North station at Huntingdon, was 
shutting a carriage door of the 12-28 train to London on Saturday, he was caught by the door and 
dragged under the moving train. The latter was immediately signalled to stop, and it was found that 
Curtis had escaped with minor injuries and shock. He was removed to the County Hospital, where he 
regained consciousness, and on Monday he was able to return to his home. 

1941 11 27 
November 28, 1941 

Target — a Destroyer. — At an enthusiastic meeting held at Gazeley House (Huntingdon) on Saturday 
it was decided that Huntingdonshire should hold a Warship Week on March 14 to 21, and that the 
tai'gct should be a destroyer costing £700.000. Lord Sandwich presided and Major Kinghan, Regional 
Commissioner, spoke on the scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer for raising more money. 
Delegates were present from all parts of the county, and areas are to be set up for organising puiposes. 

1941 12 05 

Too Many Dancers, — The Chief Constable drew the attention of the Borough Council at Huntingdon 
on Tuesday to the excessive number of persons attending dances at the Town Hall. He requested them 
to arrange as a matter of safety that the number should not exceed 230. The council agreed that the 
number should be limited to 200 from January 1, 1942. 


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1941 12 05 

Too Much To Eat. — The Mayor (Coun. A. R. Maddox) paid a visit to the Huntingdon British 
Restaurant recently to see for himself how the 7d. lunch went down. After partaking of sausages and 
vegetables, with sweets, and a cup of tea thrown in, he said he .was quite satisfied and really had too 
much to eat. 

1941 12 12 

The Knowing Dog. — The following true story came my way this week (writes Watchman). A 
gentleman, who is in the habit of visiting a small shop m the High Street. Huntingdon, has to be 
careful he is not minus a leg of his trousers before he leaves for a small house dog is always ready to 
attack till called off. On asking the proprietress why the dog took such a strong objection to his 
presence, the victim was informed: "My dog always recognises the Air Force blue and Army khaki, 
and is more amenable to them, but anyone dressed in civilian clothes appears like a red rag to a bull 
No doubt he thinks that everyone should be wearing H.M. uniform. 

1942 01 30 

Death of Mr "Bert" Grimwood, — A well-known Cambridgeshire sportsman died after a short illness 
at Huntingdon in the person of Mr. Herbert Grimwood, known to the Eastern Counties cycling world 
as "Bert." He was 39. Chiefly known as a cyclist, he was one of the founders of the Histon Wheelers 
Cycling Club, and at one period its secretary. Several times he figured in the winning team in the 
Eastern Counties team championship and shield. He was well-known at all sports meetings in the 
Eastern and Home Counties and was the winner of many prizes and medals. He was a prominent 
member of the Cambridge Town and County Cycling Club and of the Huntingdon Town and County 
Cycling Club and also a timekeeper and official. He was the joint holder of the 25 miles tandem 
record of the Cambridge Town and County C.C. and held several records of the Histon Wheelers C.C. 
He was also the holder of the ten miles Eastern Counties N.C.U. championship. After his business 
took him to Huntingdon, it occupied most of his time, but he always spared time to assist at races and 
record attempts, and in recent years a spell of fishing often occupied his leisure hours. He had been 
employed by Messrs. Chivers and Son since he was 15. 

1942 06 26 

Boy Drowned. — A boy, aged 9, was drowned in the river at Huntingdon on Wednesday evening. He 
was bathing with other boys near the railway bridge at Castle Hill. He apparently got out of his depth. 
The police, under the direction of Sgt. Gilbert, dragged the river until nearly midnight but up to then 
the body had not been recovered. 

1943 01 01 

Cromwell Decorated. - The Oliver Cromwell statue took an unwilling part in the Christmas festivities 
at St. Ives when soldiers stationed locally festooned the Protector and placed a bottle of lemonade in 
his hand. The visitors had previously enjoyed their Christmas dinner at the Huntingdon British 
Restaurant and a tea dance followed at St Ives Corn Exchange. Many townspeople were among the 
guests and a jovial time was spent. 

1943 01 22 
January 22, 1943 

New Archdeacon. — Announcement has already been made that the Ven. Dr. K, D. Knowles is 
resigning the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (says Watchman). He will relinquish the office on March 
3 1 next, but will remain Vicar of Diddington. Now I learn that the Bishop of Ely has appointed the 
Rev. W. A. Uthwatt, Rector of Brampton, to be Archdeacon in his place. For some years Mr. Uthwatt 
was vicar of Bottisham. 

1946 10 23 

Centenary King’s Lynn to Ely railway line commemorated; owing insufficient capital for Ely- 
Huntingdon line the project abandoned and only a short length build from St Ives station to terminus 
on Old North Road, Huntingdon. Failed to pay. East Anglian Company then built a vehicle to convey 


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60 passengers drawn by horse ridden by postilion with some outside seats for passengers. A special 
device enabled the ‘driver’ to disengage the engine from the vehicle when in motion. This continued 
for some time until steam locomotives again employed - 46 10 23 

1947 08 22 

Further steps are to be taken by Huntingdon, St Ives, Godmanchester and St Neots, the four towns so 
badly affected by the March floods, to press home to the Government the urgency of some action 
being taken to mitigate further floods of these places. Mr W.E. Doran (Ouse Catchment Board 
Engineer) said that in his view the inhabitants of those towns were suffering from the sins of their 
ancestors in building houses in a flood area. At the height of the recent flood water was passing St 
Ives at the rate of 1 1,000 cubic feet per second. It was impossible to dig a channel capable of taking 
such an enormous volume of water. A new sluice at the paper mills, St Neots would improve the 
position for that town but would not stop flooding there 

1949 02 28 

For the first time since Impington Village College was opened in 1929, a Gilbert and Sullivan opera 
was performed there. A packed “house” received enthusiastically the Huntingdon Music Makers Club 
production of “Ruddigore”. The orchestra, conducted by Ethel M. Charles, was well up to the general 
standard. Arthur Tattersall was the producer 

1949 06 24 

After being in use for more than 100 years, the cast iron arches of the railway bridge over the Ouse 
half-a-mile south of Huntingdon, are being replaced by a modern steel structure. The policy is to 
abolish all cast-iron bridges under running roads. A greater tensile strength is needed to meet the 
demands of 450-tons of express trains hurtling along at great speeds. The arrangements began in 
March when the lines across the bridges were closed to traffic. It is hoped the lines will be open again 
in October 

1950 05 20 

A silver chalice dating back to 1569 has been stolen from St Mary’s church, Huntingdon. It was the 
oldest piece of silver in the church and is valued at more than £300. It was last used at the communion 
service on Sunday, after which it was returned to the safe. The safe had been opened with the key 
which has been kept in the church for the past 12 years. 

1950 07 20 

Messrs Hall, Cutlack & Harlock Ltd, the brewery, Fore Hill, Ely and the Huntingdon Breweries Ltd, 
Huntingdon, have amalgamated and the new company will be known as the East Anglian Breweries 
Ltd. The registered office will be at Ely. All the directors are directors of the amalgamated companies. 

1952 01 22 

Cambridgeshire is the only county in the Eastern region, apart from the Isle of Ely, that has not 
opened an Old People’s Home, said Councillor Miss Boake when she urged that the adaptation of 
Willingham Rectory as a home be given priority. The cost would be £9,851, including £3,500 
purchase price. The Isle was now building a home, while Huntingdon had three. Coun Randall said 
there would sooner or later have to be a sewerage scheme in Balsham; there were four open drains 
taking sewage at the moment. Premier Travel has offered a withdrawn, but serviceable motor coach 
for use as a mobile cinema to enable the Road Safety Organiser to expand his activities. 

1952 06 07 

A Brampton man was a member of a party seeing off a newly-married couple at Huntingdon Railway 
station. As a joke he chalked on the carriage the words: “Just married. Gone to his doom”. But 
chalking on railway carriages is illegal and he found himself before magistrates “for wantonly 
defacing” a vestibule coach, the property of the Railway Executive. He was convicted & fined the 
cost of washing down, cleaning & repainting the coach, which was 15s. It was not the railway 


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authority’s wish to be spoilsports and stop a bit of fun but there had been quite a bit of this chalking 
and the prosecution might act as a deterrent. 

1953 12 10 

Two frogmen are inspecting the bridge at St Ives and making minor repairs to the foundations for the 
second time - the last being in 1947 after the floods damaged the concrete base of the piers. 
Underneath their two-piece suit, flippers and helmet the men wore Naval jerseys and long pants & the 
only parts of then - bodies exposed to the water were their hands. One was reported as wearing gloves, 
but this was treated as a joke. Last week they were working on the Huntingdon bridge where they 
carried out similar work. 

1954 07 03 

Huntingdon will probably lose one of its oldest industries with the cessation of the brewing of beer. 
For more than 300 years the brewery in the High Street has been active. Now it will stop. The score of 
women in the bottling department and the men on the brewery staff will be found other employment. 
None of the office staff will be affected and the off-licence premises will carry on as usual. Malting 
will also be continued and the dozen lorry drivers and loaders will not be affected. It will be used as a 
distribution centre for the Ely produced beers. Throughout the century many amalgamations have 
taken place but in 1950 they culminated in the combination between the Huntingdon Brewery and 
Messrs Hall, Cutlack and Harlock of Ely to form the East Anglian Breweries ltd. 

1955 03 04 

Messrs Burtons of High Street Huntingdon applied for an off-licence in respect of wines and spirits. 
The branch had existed for over 50 years and because of the increasing popularity of television people 
spend more time at home leading to a greater demand for wines and spirits in the house. The wages of 
workers have increased quite a lot and they are now in a position to have the odd bottle of wine - 
perhaps for medicinal purposes or for a birthday. They look to their grocer to supply it on the few 
occasions during the year when then need it. But it was opposed by Messrs Hunter and Oliver who 
had an off-licence: usually when a person wanted a bottle of wine they would telephone or write a 
letter and it would be delivered. 55 03 04a 

1955 04 01 

Paxton Park Maternity Home is to close in September. It was taken over as an emergency war-time 
measure but does not provide suitable accommodation and has inadequate sewage disposal 
arrangements. It is hoped to erect a maternity block at the Huntingdon County Hospital but in the 
meantime they will use the Isolation Hospital. In the event of an emergency they can call on the 
facilities of the Huntingdon General Hospital. 55 04 01 

1955 07 08 

Godmanchester county junior school was opened by the Countess of Sandwich. Construction 
commenced in December 1953 and the school was brought into use after the Easter holidays. It has 
been built to ease the overcrowding of the old building in St Anne’s Lane & sited to allow a 
maximum area of playing fields. A complete Roman skeleton which was discovered during 
excavations is now in the Huntingdon museum. 55 07 08a 

1955 08 24 

A swimming pool may be built at Huntingdon using money collected for a memorial hall in 1945. 
Although a site had been acquired and designs approved building restrictions had held up work and 
the costs had almost doubled. It was legally possible to spend the funds on a pool although some of 
the donors might withdraw their monies saying it was not being used for the original purpose. 55 08 
24 

1955 09 09 

A scroll authorising personnel of RAF Wyton to march through Huntingdon on ceremonial occasions 
with bayonets fixed, colours flying, drums beating and bands playing was presented to the 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


Commanding Officer during celebrations to mark the 750th anniversary of the granting of the town’s 
first royal charter. A parade of 700 officers and men headed by the Central Band of the Royal Air 
Force marched past as 12 Canberras and two Valiants flew overhead in salute. 55 09 09a & b 

1956 04 13 

Huntingdon Coursing Club had arranged wonderful meetings. The world of coursing had experienced 
its ups and downs and members had been confronted by the ‘anti blood antagonists’ who had 
managed to gain the support of a section of the Press; but at present these people appear to have 
quietened down. Soon enthusiasts could attend a three-day classic meeting at Huntingdon. 56 04 13b 

1956 07 20 

Samples of water taken from the River Ouse at Huntingdon after many fish were killed on the Newton 
stretch of the river contained traces of cyanide. It came from the normal effluent discharge from 
Huntingdon Council’s septic tank at Hartford. No other sources of pollution were found and the only 
chemical spraying was using a non-toxic weed killer. It was important that the district pollution 
prevention officer should be on the telephone, but the Post Office did not have the necessary 
equipment. 56 07 20b 

1958 08 01 

In 1950 Huntingdon Brewery amalgamated with Hall, Cutlack and Harlock of Ely to form East 
Anglian Breweries. Now it will merge with Stewart and Patteson. There was disagreement over 
payment to four directors for loss of office. But they were entitled to compensation for fees they 
would have received but for the reorganisation. 57 08 Olg 

1958 03 07 

Huntingdon magistrates turned down requests by the Fiesta Coffee House and the Nickel Coin 
Restaurant to allow them to play juke boxes on Sunday. The Chief Constable thought they would 
attract ‘undesirable types’ and such music should not be encouraged on the Sabbath. In London they 
were being placed in the better class of hotels and clubs and cafes at St Ives and St Neots had them so 
lads from Brampton and Wyton now went there. 58 03 07a 

1958 08 01 

Mr Wright of Riverside Works, Walnut Tree Avenue has designed a six foot clock to keep the public 
up-to-date with competitors’ times in various events. It runs perfectly and with extreme accuracy. The 
timing equipment is completely portable and can be carried in the back of a Ford Zephyr estate car, 
including the collapsible clock face. It was first demonstrated at the Huntingdon Show and has now 
aroused interest from South Africa. 58 08 01 

1959 11 13 

Two grossly malformed children had been born in the Primrose Lane Hospital, Huntingdon recently 
and there were five cases of ‘developmental defects’, which were minor abnormalities, 
Huntingdonshire County Council were told. A Health Committee should be set up to investigate the 
extent of radio-active fall-out and the degree of radio-active contamination of food and water within 
the county boundaries. It is a fear lurking in the minds of everybody, a terrible matter which should 
not just be ignored. 59 1 1 13a 

1960 07 01 

Work has commenced on the construction of 184 houses, 36 flats and 96 garages, with associated 
roads and sewers on Oxmire and American Lanes, which will comprise the first stage of the 
Huntingdon expansion scheme. A new perimeter road will enclose the whole housing estate and a 
strip of common land will separate it from the town centre. Housewives will walk to the shops 
through pleasant park-like surroundings and tradesmen will deliver to back doors. Eventually the 
town will accommodate about 1 ,000 London families with the factories which will provide their 
employment. 60 07 Ola 


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1960 10 01 

A St Ives boat builder has created a modern boatyard out of an old derelict gravel pit in 12 months. 

Mr L.H. Jones, who moved his business from Huntingdon, cut a channel through to the river and 
dredged out the bottom. In his workshops he builds anything from small launches to 30-feet cruisers 
which are used mainly on Fenland waterways. 60 10 01 

1960 12 07 

Officials at USAF Alconbury are preparing for Christmas. The Chapel-sponsored food baskets will 
benefit 150 UK families in Huntingdon, there will be a mammoth party for children, ‘teen dances and 
an appearance by Santa Claus. Each quarters are expected to make an appropriate Christmas display 
or decoration; last year thousands of people drove a special marked route through the gaily-decorated 
barracks area to view ‘Christmas USA’. 60 12 07b 

1961 04 05 

The London County Council announced it will build homes for another 170,000 Londoner with jobs 
‘round the comer’ for the wage earners. Huntingdon, Thetford and Haverhill are willing to take an 
extra 5,000 homes each. No one will go to these towns without jobs 61 04 05 

1961 05 16 

Olivers’ Huntingdon factory will close at the end of the canning season and about 250 employees will 
lose their jobs. There is an excess of canning capacity in the Schweppes group as a whole and the 
termination of all works on dehydrated potato production 61 05 16 

1961 06 22 

Cuts at USAL Alconbury will mean 200 British civilians working as secretaries, in the supply centre, 
motor pool, community centre, library and snack bar will become redundant. Since 1959 it has been 
occupied by part of the US 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing and manned by 2,500 American 
servicemen who had 4,300 dependents. Now it will be reduced to a small detachment for weather, 
communications and maintenance services. The closure will have an effect on Huntingdon traders 
although the London ‘overspill’ population will offset some of the loss. 61 06 22a 

1961 10 04 

The news that the American air base at Alconbury will not now be closing will give long-term 
confidence to residents and traders in Huntingdon and St Ives who were concerned of the effect on 
their businesses. The Americans had announced that the base would be reducing its strength in 1964 
and about 200 British civilian employees would be declared redundant. Now Alconbury and three 
other bases in East Anglia will remain open 61 10 04a 

1962 06 14 

Huntingdon’s narrow High Street may be closed to traffic to form a pedestrian shopping precinct. An 
inquiry into proposals to redevelop no.35 High Street as a supermarket was told it was presently let as 
a fish shop, at the rear was a 16th-century house, now unoccupied, and an old tithe barn. It had dry rot 
and woodworm, a section was structurally unsound and it needed a great deal spent on repairs. But 
planners said rebuilding would have a detrimental effect on the architectural and historic interest of 
the street which includes numerous ancient buildings 62 06 14 

1962 06 22 

The shortage of water in Huntingdon has become so serious that the Borough Surveyor has warned 
residents that supplies may be cut off in parts of the town for selected periods. The level in the water 
tower has reached such a low level that there is insufficient pressure to reach the higher buildings. The 
Lire Brigade is pumping water to the County Hospital to enable it to carry on and workmen may be 
laid off at the Silent Channel Company’s factory, where car accessories are manufactured. The 
villages of Brampton, Ellington, Easton and Spaldwick might soon be entirely without supplies. 62 06 
22 


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1962 08 29 

Over 140 Londoners employed by Horatio Meyer, the bedding manufacturers, have volunteered to 
move 60 miles with their families to new homes and work in Huntingdon. The workers, drawn from 
the company’s four London factories, will form the spearhead of the staff to man the new factory 
being built in St Peter’s Road making mostly mattresses and divans. Coachloads of workers came to 
see the site and the new houses being built under the L.C.C. scheme to attract people from overbuilt 
areas of London. 62 08 29a 

1962 09 08 

A guard was taken to hospital with multiple injuries after a collision between two express freight 
trains near Huntingdon. Fifty wagons and a steam engine were derailed when one train ran into the 
rear of another that had been stopped by signals at Offord. One engine toppled on to its side. Railway 
gangs worked through the night but fifteen hours later the line was still blocked. The men were 
provided with food from a restaurant car brought from Grantham 62 09 08 

1962 09 14 

Huntingdon council housing shortage - 62 09 14a 
1962 09 25 

Huntingdon’s ancient charters were kept in a muniments safe which lacked ventilation which had 
resulted in some of the documents deteriorating. And one had gone missing. Archivist P.G. Dickinson 
said he was ‘horrified’ when he saw the state of the Godmanchester charters. They were kept in a 
wooden case and were in a poor condition, needing immediate attention. The famous King John 
Charter had been damaged by drawing pins and required attention, he reported. 62 09 25a 

1962 10 20 

Cromwell House Museum in Huntingdon was officially opened by the Speaker of the House of 
Commons. It houses the largest collection of antiquities relating to the Lord Protector and his family 
and is based in the school Oliver Cromwell attended. The Norman architecture has been renovated by 
the County Council with the encouragement of Huntingdon and Godmanchester Borough Council. 

But owing to the restricted floor and wall space much of the collection cannot be displayed. 62 10 20 

1962 11 02 

The proposed new coat of arms for Huntingdon and Godmanchester includes English motto - 62 1 1 
02b 

1963 01 15 

The Flying Scotsman passed through Huntingdon station at above 75 mph on its last historic run from 
London to Leeds. The locomotive, which was sold recently to a Nottingham businessman for £4,000, 
was five minutes late. But train-spotters did not seem to mind as they jockeyed for positions with their 
camera and stop watches. A trace of billowing white steam roared through the station pushing 
everything, including the spotters standing on the edge of the platform, to once side. In a lightning 
green flash it had gone, well on its way to its first stop at Peterborough. 63 01 15a 

1963 0118 

Should Huntingdon’s 18 prefabs be improved and made permanent or be demolished. When they 
were built it was for a period of 10 years as temporary accommodation and many authorities have 
pulled them down. Several tenants have complained about condensation forming on ceilings during 
bad weather caused by the metal roofs. If demolished the site would make a good housing estate. But 
two have been converted to bungalows by adding brick walls. 63 01 18b 

1963 01 22 

The water position in Huntingdon is very grave and supplies may need to be cut. It is essential that 
householders do not leave their water taps running overnight - a practice which some people adopt to 
prevent taps from freezing - 63.01 22 


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1963 02 08 

Huntingdon needs bypass - 63 02 08a 

1962 02 28 

London commuters are eligible for 100 per cent mortgages under a new ‘home loans for all’ plan by 
the London County Council. Loans will be made on any house or flat within a 50-mile radius of 
Charing Cross and will be available to those living in St Neots, Royston, Huntingdon or Haverhill 
regardless of income. Repayment can be spread over 25 years. The only restriction is that the value of 
the property must not be more than £5.000. Estate agents predict it will not have a dramatic impact on 
Cambridge. 63 02 28 

1963 04 30 

If Huntingdon and Godmanchester council support a plan to erect 1 85 terraced houses at a density of 
13 per acre, it would be allowing dwellings similar to those built during the industrial revolution, a 
councillor claimed. But the properties off Veasey Road, near the L.C.C. overspill development site, 
were approved. “The brains of the Planning Office have considered this and it’s not up for ordinary 
lay people to criticise”, he was told. The majority of people these days only want small gardens 63 04 
30a 

1963 05 15 

Hinchingbrooke House was purchased by Huntingdonshire County Council in 1962. Now they have 
bought the nearby Home Farm and New Park to allow the extension of the Grammar School playing 
fields and safeguard the amenities of the area. Huntingdon is a rapidly expanding town but with the 
likely extension of George Street much of the council’s office accommodation would be pulled down 
and it is essential to have land to cater for their growing County services 63 05 15b 

1963 05 16 

Hinchingbrooke Hospital may be build at Huntingdon - 63 05 16b 

1964 02 10 

The struggle to provide a swimming pool at Huntingdon has caused a great deal of frustration. Year 
after year Mayors have wished it would open during their term of office. The idea began 30 years ago 
with a scheme for an open air pool on Hartford Road Fields using water from the nearby river. By 
1957 the cost was estimated at £12,500 but this rose to £90,000 before 1962. Now a site has been 
identified at Bushey Close near the Oxmoor Estate with a hope it may be in use by summer 1965. 64 
02 10b 

1962 02 14 

It is an “unmitigated tragedy” that Trinity Church, Huntingdon, a landmark for nearly 1 00 years, is to 
disappear, Paul Petty told Rotarians. It has been announced that because of its condition it will have to 
be demolished. At present Sunday services are held in the schoolroom. The foundation stone was laid 
on May 22 1867 by Thomas Coote of Fenstanton and it opened for worship on 16th September 1868. 
The total cost of providing the church was £10,600. 64 02 14 

1962 02 21 

Huntingdon Spiritualist Church demolition - 64 02 2 1 
1964 03 20 

Colin Drage of Abbots Ripton has been a rat catcher since leaving school. He cycles up to 30 miles a 
day carrying bait and traps. He formerly kept five dogs and 60 ferrets but now mainly relies on 
modern poisons. His biggest catch was at the old Huntingdon incinerator where he picked up over 800 
dead rats, many others died in their holes. But now many old buildings in Huntingdon and St Ives 
have been demolished so there are not so many rats about. 64 03 20f 


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1964 05 02 

Strawberry and the Fruit Drops, The Wreckers, The Huntsmen, The Inmates, The Ancestors and The 
Spyders are beat groups who rehearse in the building which adjoins the Grand Cinema in Huntingdon. 
The premises are occupied every night of the week by one group or the other. Most of what the boys 
earn goes towards buying instruments, equipment and running three minibuses. During weekdays they 
restrict their bookings to 40 miles from Huntingdon but they will travel any distance on Saturdays. 
Two of the groups, The Wreckers and the Huntsmen have reached the finals of a Beat Competition at 
Northampton that was judged by Norrie Paramour who asked for a recording. But now their rehearsal 
area is to close 64 05 02a 

1964 07 23 

Trinity Baptist church, Huntingdon needs £10,000 to make the church and its 182 ft steeple safe. The 
deeds say that if it is closed down and sold the money must be distributed to charity. For five years 
services have been carried on in a small converted hall at the back of the building with congregations 
from 50-100. The church is without minister at present and until its fate is known the trustees cannot 
invite a new pastor 64 07 23 

1964 09 17 

Trinity Church in High Street Huntingdon was sold by auction for £42,000. A landmark in the town 
with its 182 feet spire, it was built about 1868 replacing a chapel dating from 1823 in Grammar 
School Walk. There is outline planning consent for the building of shops on the site. Money raised by 
the sale might be used for a new church on part of the site on which the school hall and caretaker’s 
cottage now stands or on another on a completely different site 64 09 17a 

1964 09 18 

Huntingdon Holy Trinity church to be Tesco supermarket - 64 09 18c 
1964 10 22 

Hartford county primary school opened to cater for large number of children from Huntingdon’s 
London overspill scheme. A companion school for 240 infants is also planned. There are eight 
classrooms for up to 320 children who will be integrated with those from the old part of the village. It 
is hoped that by growing up together with those from the new estate the children would settle down 
into a combined community 64 10 22b 

1964 10 27 

Huntingdon National Hunt racecourse redevelopment - 64 10 27 
1964 11 05 

Huntingdon High Street ‘nightmare’ may become shoppers’ ideal - 64 1 1 05 & a 
1964 11 27 

Huntingdon Trinity Church interior - awaits demolition - 64 1 1 27f 

1964 12 12 

Jimmy Savile at Huntingdon - profile - 64 12 12a, 12b 

1965 01 13 

Huntingdon expansion plans - feature - 65 01 13, 13b 
1965 03 22 

Huntingdon & St Neots will not close doors to coloured workers- 65 03 22a 
1972 03 25 

Three separate lines for the proposed Huntingdon by-pass were put forward yesterday at the re- 
opened by-pass inquiry. The official line proposed by the Department of the Environment would take 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


the traffic along a north-south route past the town. This is being opposed by the county's M.P., Sir 
David Renton, who favours an East -West line. But yesterday's suiprise was a third proposal put 
forward by a Hemingford Abbots man which would incorporate the town's by-pass in a major route 
between Ipswich and the Ml. He said in the next 10 years the increase of traffic with East Coast ports 
would boost traffic through Huntingdon to such a degree that a second by-pass could prove necessary 
if the current north-south line is adopted 

1972 03 28 

Some parts of central Huntingdon could be turned into piles of rubble in five years unless the pace of 
demolition work in clearance areas is changed. The Council's Labour Mayor-elect, Coun. Vic Howell 
attacked a move to class an area in Castle Hill as a clearance area. "In four or five years all we're 
going to have left is rows of piles of rubble in this part of town. Let’s make no mistake the piles of 
rubble will lay there for years" he said 

1972 04 26 

The planning go-ahead has been given for the re-development of the old Chivers warehouse site in 
George Street, Huntingdon. It is the largest single industrial site in the town. The agents revealed it 
was hoped to attract one major industrial concern to take over the entire six and a half acre site. The 
offices to be housed in a modern block will front George Street and will be set back from the road in 
line with the present post office and alms houses. The property was sold at the beginning of the year 
for an undisclosed five -figure sum and the re -development is eventually expected to generate many 
job opportunities in the town 

1972 07 28 

With Murkett Bros' move to new premises in Histon Road on Tuesday, Cambridge will shortly lose a 
familiar landmark. The Huntingdon-based firm's motor car showrooms and offices at the corner of 
Huntingdon Road and Histon Road is to be demolished and a million-gallon-a-year petrol service 
station built in its place. Murkett's sold their prime corner city centre site to Chevron Oil (U.K.) earlier 
this year. Chevron consider the purchase of the old showrooms a coup. "With a traffic count of around 
40,000 cars a day at this junction, it is a prime site equal to some of the best in London", said a 
spokesman 

1972 09 02 

Joe Bugner - St Ives' former British European and Commonwealth heavyweight boxing champion 
could be forced to train outside Huntingdonshire if his plan to build a gymnasium at Wyton is turned 
down. Joe currently trains in a gymnasium in St Mary's Street in Huntingdon. His manager Mr Andy 
Smith said "1 should think that in view of Joe Bugner's contribution to this county in the past they 
could perhaps give him a little consideration" 

1972 11 03 

Pity the poor dogs of Huntingdon, Haverhill, St Neots and Mildenhall. An R.S.P.C.A. inspector said: 
"Many Londoners come down to places like Haverhill and feel they are in the country for the first 
time. They've not been allowed to keep animals before and their first thought is: 'Now we can have a 
pet'. They usually get a Labrador dog without thinking how big it will grow". Lack of time to give the 
animals sufficient exercise and a small garden often resulted in its being turned out on the streets and 
this was when the dogs joined up in packs to roam together. At St Neots the dogs roamed the estates 
in packs all day, frightening children and old people. 

1973 02 09 

Famous painting, Huntingdon - 73 02 09 p4 
1973 06 04 

This is the week the bulldozers break through a tangle of red tape and purse strings to make a start on 
two vital bypasses for towns in the Cambridge area. Today a start is made at Huntingdon, in two days 
it will be the turn of Newmarket, one of Britain's worst bottlenecks. The two schemes have escaped 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


the Government's road spending axe. Together they will cost £15 million and take two years to 
complete 

1973 06 29 

Huntingdon’s "forgotten" town museum may be re -born if plans by the local history society get off 
the ground. They want to build up a town museum in one of the many county council buildings in the 
town which may become vacant when the new district council takes over next year. The chairman, Mr 
Philip Dickinson, said that a Government report, out yesterday, which hits out at the way the county is 
neglecting its local museums, could have been written for Huntingdon, whose museum closed in 1950 

1973 08 21 

Mid Anglia Police yesterday settled down to business in their lush new headquarters complex at 
Hinchinbrook Park, near Huntingdon. Removal men are busy removing stores from the old buildings 
at The Manor, Brampton. Removal vans laden with police equipment will be on the road again next 
weekend. Huntingdon divisional headquarters are to be moved from Ferrars Road, Huntingdon to The 
Manor. Work is already going on building a new police station at Ferrars Road, Huntingdon for the 
town's police 

1973 10 12 

Partly-completed dungarees are delivered to your house. Your job is to machine stitch the bib and 
braces, insert elastic into the waistband which has to be stitched and gathered, sew on a pocket. How 
much would you expect to be paid? This was the task given to a young Huntingdon mother who 
answered a clothing factory's advertisement for home workers. It took her five hours to complete two 
pairs, then she abandoned the venture. Providing her own machine, electricity and thread she decided 
the work was "exploitation". The payment was lOp a pair. 

1973 10 24 

Huntingdon's county ambulance service is being forced to run its vehicles into the ground to keep up 
with demand, and the situation is likely to get worse next year. Extra work is having to be put in by 
the mechanics to keep vehicles on the road because two new ambulances had to be sent back to 
British Leyland with brake trouble. One is still out of action and another had to be taken out again last 
week. Some of the remaining ambulances are wearing out faster than expected and will have to be 
replaced next year - and there is a nine -month waiting period on new orders 

1974 01 16 

Women’s libbers pulled off a master stroke when they won equal rights in Huntingdon’s new working 
men’s club being built on the town’s housing estate. And minutes after the decision was announced, 
the first woman was voted onto the management committee of the 700-member BRJ club under 
construction at Sallowbush road. Not content with their victory, the women are also demanding that as 
the men have had two fund-raising stag nights they should have the chance of a hen party 

1974 01 17 

The number of books borrowed from libraries in the region since the early tv closedown came into 
force has gone up considerably. Late evening boredom in Huntingdon and St Neots has, according to 
the county librarian, Mr Reg Key worth, given rise to a “substantial increase” in the number of books 
being taken out. “People have been coming into the libraries saying they are bored and want 
something to read because of the earlier television closing down times” he said. 

1974 05 17 

Huntingdon swimming club’s dream of an international standard pool in the town was sunk last night 
by Huntingdon district council. Club members listened to a debate on the council’s capital 
expenditure programme for leisure schemes hoping to hear favourable comment on a £280,000 plan 
for an indoor pool alongside the existing Bushey Close swimming baths. But they heard councillors 
agree to put only £5,000 into the programme and to meet Cambridgeshire county council officers to 


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discuss the idea of a dual -dash use pool which would not be built to international competition 
standards 

1974 08 8 

The Government has given the go-ahead with the production of a cigarette containing artificial 
tobacco. N.S.M. (New Smoking Material) is really de-lignified wood pulp shredded to look like a 
tobacco material. It has been under study at the Huntingdon Research Centre for the past three years. 
The man in charge pronounced the new product “terrible, it smells ghastly when it is burning, just like 
burning wood. I’ll stick to ordinary tobacco”, he said 

1974 08 21 

The first council tenants have moved into the luxury homes bought by Huntingdon district council in 
a controversial bid to beat the housing shortage. Three families have moved into the £1 1,000 
privately -built houses on Whitecross estate off Ramsey Road. The 26 house owners already on the 
estate have been protesting against the scheme ever since it was announced four months ago. A four- 
bedroomed house will cost £10 a week rent. On the other side of the road owner-occupiers are paying 
£17 a week mortgages. 

1974 08 28 

Children on their own are banned from buying sugar in Upton’ s Huntingdon supermarket because the 
manager says they are running a high price black-market. Others have taken action because mothers 
are sending in their children to beat the 21b a family rationing by shops. In all towns in the area the 
story of the sugar stampede is the same: as soon as it appears in the shops it is snapped up. The 
manager of Civil’s supermarket in St Ives said they were having to ration to make sure a steady flow 
was kept. In Cambridge sugar was not available at most supermarkets but Arbury Discount had 
enough for every customer to be allowed one bag. 

1974 09 09 

Gail force winds swept through Mid-Anglia uprooting more than 100 trees, blocking roads and tearing 
down electricity power cables. At Grantchester the elm standing in front of the Green man public 
house, believed to be more than 500 years old, was split in two by the wind. A piece of Huntingdon 
history fell to the winds on Lattenbury hill, Godmanchester, when a tree broke in half. It is said to 
have connections with the Highwayman Duck Turpin 

1974 10 25 

A crane with a 100 foot toppled over and smashed into a bridge being built for the Huntingdon by- 
pass. It was being used to lift a piece into place by the side of the Avenue in Godmanchester. One of 
the tracks was dug deep into the ground and the jib buckled, with part of it lying across the new 
section of bridge which will eventually span the river Great Ouse. 

1974 11 19 

Operation Mop-Up got into full swing as flood waters subsided after nearly two hours of rain in 24 
hours. In Cambridge the river burst its banks from Lammas Land in Newnham to Pye’s in Chesterton 
where the playing fields resembled a lake. At St Neots a disable d elderly man and his wife were 
evacuated as flood water burst into their homes during the worst flooding in that town since 1947. 
Office workers at the Anglian Water Authority headquarters at Huntingdon spend an anxious 
afternoon - waiting to see if they would be flooded. Children at Dullingham primary school had to be 
ferries across floods by a local farmer’s trailer when water blocked the road. 

1975 01 06 

The new face of Huntingdon will be shown to the world within two years if a £2m redevelopment of 
the town centre goes ahead. It will provide a new cinema, public houses, shops and offices in a 
complex stretching along the High Street from the existing Hippodrome cinema to W.H. Smith. 
Several well-known buildings including Fishers Department Store and the Queen’s Head public house 


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will be knocked down. Parking for 400 cars will be provided on a rooftop and a pedestrian arcade will 
link the complex with the bus station and the High Street 

1975 01 29 

The number of homeless families in the Huntingdon, St Neots area is rocketing. Scores of families 
have been made homeless after being evicted from tied houses or finding themselves unable to keep 
up with mortgage repayments. Hundred more are living with friends while they join the already -long 
waiting lists for council houses. The three -day week threw a lot of people on hard times, especially 
young men with wives and families with large mortgages. An official said the housing situation was 
“hellish” and was getting worse all the time 

1975 03 24 

Detailed recommendations aimed at presenting the town centres of St Neots, St Ives and Huntingdon 
from becoming “deserts” of industry and commerce - where no one lives - have been studied by 
Huntingdon district council. Up until the 1950s, the three town centres were mainly residential except 
for small cores of commerce. Even these had their high proportion of flats. Then came the dramatic 
expansion of the 1960s and 70s in housing with shops and offices following hard on its heels. 
Commercial activity forced out residential considerations and together with worsening traffic 
conditions the town centres gradually became less desirable places to live. 

1975 10 02 

The builders of Huntingdon bypass are helping experts to unravel the mystery of a centuries-old 
massacre in the town. Part of the site of a Norman castle at Castle Hill is to be dug out. The 
Archaeological Field Officer, Miss Alison Taylor, began work on the site and almost immediately 
uncovered human remains. ‘It is all very mysterious. The remains are placed very haphazardly, which 
seems to suggest some sort of massacre occurred hundreds of years ago”, she said 

1975 10 29 

When 1 told friends I was going to sleep in the Victorian cells at Huntingdon police station they 
decided I was mad. After an hour lying on a rock-hard mattress with a wood block as my only pillow I 
began to think they were right. There is no provision for women. “We just say this is the woman’s cell 
because it is a bit cleaner, doesn’t smell so much and is nearer the loo”, the sergeant said. Then he led 
me across the courtyard and into the air-conditioned warmth of the new police station. Seven cells 
have been provided for men and six for women. Every one has its own built-in toilet, central heating 
and air conditioning. Some senior detectives feel that the new cells are a trifle too comfy. Within the 
next ten days the old dungeons are to be destroyed to make way for a car park 

1975 11 14 

Part of a horse’s skeleton, pottery from Saxon and Roman England and an old black dog (very much 
alive) have so far come to light in the dig being carried out behind the Queen’s head public house in 
Huntingdon High Street. Archaeologists believe the dog must have wandered through the fence 
cordoning off the dig during the night and stumbled into their trench. Unhurt, but cold and hungry, he 
was rescued next morning 

1976 01 09 

One of Huntingdon’s best-known filling stations is to close after more than 14 years because of 
plummeting sales. The Afton service station has been a victim of Huntingdon by-pass. It has taken 
away most of the passing trade and is cut off from its local customers. The final blow came when the 
access road passing the filling station was changed to one-way traffic into the town. Local customers 
could not get to the Afton unless they chanced a hazardous U-turn across the traffic flow 

1976 04 29 

The eleven-month long drought brought two strong warnings today. Water supplies to all homes in 
the Huntingdon and St Neots area will be cut off within three months unless people economise. 
Elsewhere the dry weather is threatening all rivers with sewage pollution. Downstream from the over- 


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loaded Cambridge sewage works the Great Ouse River Authority say the threat of wholesale sewage 
pollution was now “crucial”. 

1976 06 10 

The newly-created Roman Catholic Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Clarke, was at 
Huntingdon to carry out his first official engagement. The occasion was a special mass to mark both 
the centenary of the founding of the parish of St Michael and the 75th anniversary of the Hartford 
Road Church of St Michael the Archangel. Afterwards he went to USAF Alconbury for lunch as the 
guest of the officers. 

1977 05 04 

Two crewmen of an RAF Canberra and three children were killed when the plane crashed near houses 
at Oxmoor, Huntingdon. The main wreckage of the plane is spread around an area of grass at the end 
of Norfolk Road. The tail-plane of the Canberra wedged hard alongside one of the houses. Eight of 
the terraced houses appeared to be completely gutted with flames raging through the roofs. As the 
wreckage burned steadily police held back hundreds of watching residents. A spokesman at RAF 
Wyton confirmed that one of their Canberra reconnaissance planes had crashed two miles from the 
runway as it came into land. 

1977 05 05 

Mr Harry Evans of Sycamore Drive on the Oxmoor estate, Huntingdon described the scene as the 
Canberra crashed. “As 1 was walking along 1 looked across the estate and there was this jet coming in 
low like it was in a nosedive. It looked as if the pilot was aiming away from the houses. Then it 
disappeared from sight and there was a dull thud. We saw black smoke and flames”. Mrs Betty Smith 
escaped from her blazing kitchen in Norfolk Road. “The plane virtually landed in my front garden. I’d 
just come down to the kitchen. I covered my ears like I always do when I hear a plane close and then 
could see flames. They were coming across the kitchen floor and under the table and 1 ran” 

1977 05 05 

As Huntingdon mourned the death of three small children in the jet crash at Oxmoor, mystery still 
surrounds the cause of the crash. After experts had worked all night under floodlights amid the 
charred wreckage, one theory is that the twin engine Canberra photo-reconnaissance plane had 
suffered a failure in its Rolls-Royce engines. The two crewmen died as they fought to steer their 
crippled plane clear of the estate and a school 200 yards from the place where it crashed into eight 
terraced houses. Three small children died as blazing aircraft fuel spewed on to and into the houses 

1977 05 05 

The two crewmen of the RAF Canberra killed in the tragedy at Huntingdon may have sacrificed their 
lives trying to keep clear of a school nearby where 250 children were about to start their lunch break. 
The headmaster of Sapley Park Primary School, Mr John Richardson, said the whole disaster was 
played out in full view of the school. The aircraft crashed about 200 yards away just as the bell was 
ringing for the start of the break. If the pilot had stayed in the air a few seconds more the school 
would have been hit. The crew could have ejected to safety and left the plane to its own devices. 

1977 05 05 

The Mayor of Huntingdon said bureaucrats must take part of the blame for the Canberra jet crash 
disaster which killed five people. “It is clear the homes should not have been built under the flight 
path of the planes”. The Oxmoor estate, where 2,000 families live, is mostly inhabited by Londoners 
who moved to the town under the Greater London Council expanding towns scheme and started in 
1955. Residents have called for a halt to flights over the estate and threaten to block the runways at 
RAF Wyton. 

1977 05 12 

Huntingdon’s “desolation row” where three children and two airmen died in last week’s jet crash, will 
soon be no more. Contractors moved into Norfolk Road to begin demolishing the shattered and 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


blackened wreck of seven houses. The machines brought to light pathetic mementoes of family life. 
Children’s toys tumbled from upstairs bedrooms and the remains of a lunch that was never eaten 
disappeared under a shower of rubble. Huntingdon District Council intends to rebuild the block 
exactly as it looked before the crash. Greater London Council officials are searching their files for the 
original plans. 

1977 05 17 

The RAF disclosed officially that jet aircraft from RAF Wyton practice engine failures over 
Huntingdon but declined to comment on newspaper reports that a Wyton jet which crashed on the 
Oxmoor estate, killing five was practising a simulated engine failure when the disaster happened. A 
spokesman emphasised the manoeuvre is not dangerous and one engine was merely throttled back and 
can be put on to full power if something goes wrong. 

1977 05 18 

Massive housing estates like Arbury in Cambridge and Oxmoor in Huntingdon are breeding grounds 
for drug abuse, says a Cambridge psychiatrist. While some of the young people started taking drugs 
through their family doctor’s normal prescriptions, abuse was master-minded by European drug 
barons who imported the material via the east Coast ports. The influx of amphetamine -based drugs 
(pep pills) into large estates was considerable and there is a very sophisticated distribution network. 
Cannabis cost between £8 and £10 per quarter ounce - enough to last a casual user five or six days. 
Heroin cost around £40 a gramme. 

1977 05 30 

Firemen risking their lives searched for a husband and wife believed trapped inside the blazing 
Conservative Club at Huntingdon. Fire raged through the downstairs area of The Views, George 
Street as four teams of firemen searched for the steward and stewardess until word was received that 
they had begun a holiday. The fire destroyed the lounge and most of the bar area of the 1 9th century 
building. The downstairs reception area was also damaged its portrait of Mrs Margaret Thatcher 
blackened by soot and smoke. 

1977 11 12 

Cambridgeshire’s fire authority has hidden a fire engine somewhere in Huntingdon for the use of the 
town’s 13 retained firemen so they will not, it is hoped, have to cross picket lines of their full-time 
colleagues when a fire call goes out. The retained firemen have been refused service at the bar of the 
Firemen’s and Ambulancemen Sports and Social Club. One said: “We are a bit disappointed. We 
wholeheartedly agree with their pay-claim and would do anything we could to help, except take strike 
action” 

1977 11 14 

In 1975 St Ives Borough Council approved in outline the development of a shopping centre and office 
buildings at Crown Yard. They were asked to approve the demolition of the Jackdaw Boutique at the 
entrance, an old gymnasium and the music shop in the yard. These were among the buildings 
destroyed in a fire that summer. Coun. Fred Jennings observed that historically and aesthetically the 
buildings were important. “We do not want to repeat the mistake of Huntingdon where buildings of 
modem idiom are crying out among buildings of an older type”, he said 

1977 11 22 

A Huntingdon inquest returned an accident verdict on the deaths of the crew of a Canberra jet plane 
that crashed on Oxmoor and on the three children who were trapped when their homes were turned 
into an inferno. At the time the plane was carrying out a practice overshoot of RAF Wyton which 
involved approaching the runway with one of the engines throttled back to simulate engine failure. 
Huntingdon MP, Sir David Renton, said the RAF must stop practising such engine failures over built- 
up areas & called for greater co-operation with the RAF about building homes under flightpaths. 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1978 02 16 

After a disastrous fire which gutted the lounge and bar of the Conservative Club in Huntingdon last 
May, the restoration work has now been completed and the club will be official reopened by the MP 
for Huntingdonshire, Sir David and Lady Renton. This will be a great relief, as the club has only 
survived by using a Portakabin in which a bar was installed. The club will now hope to encourage 
more applications from members of the local branches of the Conservative Association which exist in 
nearly every town and village in the constituency. 

1978 03 16 

Bottles and stones were thrown at a Huntingdon headmaster after an incident at St Peter’s School 
sparked off a demonstration by more than 200 pupils. Police were called after pupils who had been 
sent home at lunchtime because of teachers’ industrial action, returned to find a gate locked. Motorists 
complained that children were blocking the road, making it difficult for cars to get through. But the 
head said the demonstrators were a group of disobedient children spurred on by a small group who 
were not members of the school and that the gates had been locked in an attempt to cause trouble. 

1978 04 12 

Traffic had to be stopped on Huntingdon river bridge as workmen took down overhanging boards and 
tiles from the listed derelict hosiery mill. The owner says it may soon be sold for redevelopment. 
Interest in the mill has become greater in the past few weeks. It might be used for many different 
things, a hotel, or maybe a leisure centre 

1978 06 26 

More than twice as many new homes were completed in the South Cambridgeshire district during 

1977 than in the Cambridge city area. And nationwide statistics show that the private sector building 
is the reason behind the boom. For while 333 dwellings were built by the local authority in South 
Cambs, private builders completed 750 homes. In Huntingdon 772 out of 1,01 1 homes finished were 
built by the private sector. But in Cambridge only 1 10 homes were built privately, compared to 405 
by the council. 

1978 06 29 

A plant growing in the fens near Huntingdon could hold the key to a crisis being forecast with 
supplies of The Pill. Fenugreek produces a chemical which is a vital ingredient of the contraceptive 
pill. Now a small glasshouse of the plant has been produced together with a secret field which will 
boost seed stocks if the idea catches on. Much hinges on the attitude of the big chemical companies. 

At present they derive most of their supply from yams grown in Mexico, but there is now a ban on 
exporting so they have taken to producing it on the spot. 

1978 07 04 

The Huntingdon homes on the Oxmoor estate shattered by a jet crash which killed five people are to 
be rebuilt, more than a year after the accident. The long wait has been caused by sorting out details of 
compensation and insurance payments. Seven homes that were so badly damaged that they had to be 
demolished will be rebuilt. The announcement came as residents living opposite the site were about to 
begin a petition demanding action. One said: “It is horrible. We want to forget but we cannot because 
it is there all the time reminding us.” 

1978 07 13 

Huntingdon District Council staff have been called in to carry out emergency work to make safe the 
historic Chinese bridge at Godmanchester after claims that children could fall through holes & drown. 
For months the Council has been in dispute with the County Council over who should repair the 
bridge. Now they have started taking legal procedures which might end with them taking the County 
to court over the condition of the bridge, as they are the highways authority who should repair it. 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1978 10 17 

The jobs of Cambridge firemen are safe in spite of a major shake-up suggested in an official county 
council report aimed at improving the cost effectiveness of the Fire and Rescue Service. It hints that 
Parkside fire station is over-manned, particularly at night. A reduction in the number of full-time 
crews should be considered with a new fire station in the north of the city. Huntingdon fire station 
should be reduced to day manning on a seven-day basis and changes are also suggested at Ely. 
Proposals could involve the deployment of existing staff and they may need extra firemen when the 
new 42 -hour week starts next month 

1978 11 01 

A few pounds of gelignite put paid to the 120-foot chimney of the old riverside hosiery mill at 
Huntingdon. It was blasted to rubble by explosives expert George Williams who divides his time 
between running the University Arms pub at Sawston and destroying chimneys. He had demolished 
more than 100 and claims a world record for bringing down 10 brickworks chimneys simultaneously 
near Peterborough. The Huntingdon mill is being renovated by a London-based international company 
for use as a hotel or leisure centre. 

1979 03 29 

Cambridge comes out poorly in the new ‘Good Food Guide’; two entries are dropped leaving the city 
with just one restaurant, the ‘unusually suave’ Peking Chinese Restaurant in Burleigh Street, and one 
pub, the Fort St George. Out go the Strudel’s Restaurant in Fitzroy Street and the Golden Palace 
Chinese restaurant in Ely together with the Eagle in Bene’t Street and the Plough at Coton. Old 
favourites which retain their rating include the Old Fire Engine House at Ely, the Old Bridge Hotel 
Huntingdon and the Hotel de la Poste, Swavesey. The Pink Geranium at Melbourn gets the humbler 
‘Pass’ rating. 

1979 04 25 

The cutting of the first turf at Huntingdon’s Stukely Meadows industrial estate heralds a major victory 
for supporters of commercial growth in the town. The first stage of building will be 12 ‘mini 
factories’. Many established firms have been in the town for a decade. At Specialised Mouldings the 
marketing manager said “Huntingdon offers a pleasant semi-rural environment and is an attractive 
place for employees and their families”. Many of them moved with the firm from South London in 
1967 and in 1969 the company doubled its factory space.”. One of the biggest employers is the Silent 
Channel factory which provides jobs for about 400 people working on products such as car window 
channels and window seals. It was established in Huntingdon in 1936 and finds the location ideal, 
being close to places like Dagenham. 

1979 07 04 

Cambridgeshire County Council has decided to establish its permanent headquarters at the Shire Hall. 
The council set up it ‘temporary’ headquarters at Cambridge following local government 
reorganisation more than five years ago but decided to move eventually to the Hinchingbrooke estate 
at Huntingdon. Now they have changed their minds: Huntingdon is not scheduled as a major centre of 
the future while Cambridge is a regional centre of public administration and an internationally-known 
city. It is a natural magnet for staff and to move would have a seriously demoralising effect. The Shire 
Hall site is large enough for all their administrative needs and officers pointed out the high cost of 
building at a time when the council was already in financial difficulties. Now the land reserved for the 
new office complex is to be sold. 

1979 11 13 

Swynford Paddocks country-house hotel at Six Mile Bottom remains the best in Cambridgeshire 
according to a new Egon Ronay guide. The inspectors praised their ‘huge baths, bubble bath and 
gigantic bath towels’ as well as their ‘international food with a homely touch’. The Old Bridge at 
Huntingdon, Bedford Lodge at Newmarket and Slepe Hall Hotel at St Ives also come in for praise. 

But restaurants fare worse, this year even the Hotel de la Poste at Swavesey has lost its single star and 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


three have disappeared altogether - the Don Pasquale in Cambridge, Hunters Fen at Cottenham and 
The Chequers, Fowlmere 

1980 09 18 

Too many have accused Huntingdon of lacking facilities for shopping and leisure. Now work has 
started on an entertainment complex which will include a two-screen cinema and bingo hall together 
with more shops. The High Street can already boast some of the major chain stores and car parking is 
more than adequate. People dismiss the town’s appearance because of the housing design and 
infamous ring road, but it is surrounded by beautiful countryside and it has the potential to succeed. 

80 09 18d 

1980 10 01 

The county fire service will be ruined if planned cuts of £200,000 are implemented. At Cambridge the 
number of firemen will be cut by 20 and one of the three pumping appliances scrapped. There will be 
just one pump at Ramsey, March and Huntingdon and even then redundancies might still be needed. 
And if the firemen settle for a pay rise of more than 1 1 per cent there will have to be extra cuts. The 
news was greeted with horror by councillors who say it would put the county in peril. 80 10 01 

1981 0107 

Work has started on the electrification of the railway line through Huntingdon, St Neots and Sandy. 
The seven-month programme which involves auger-boring by the trackside and the making of 
concrete bases for the overhead cable masts is primarily to keep a specialist team of workers in 
existence. Electrification of the East Coast main line at present goes no further than Hitchin where the 
Great Northern electric line branches off to Royston. The extension to Peterborough has not yet been 
authorised. The Cambridge line remains the main priority. 81 01 07c 

1981 05 15 

Cambridge ecologists say a bus which can run on railway lines is the solution to transport problems in 
local villages. They plan to borrow a prototype and run it from the city centre to Huntingdon, using 
British Rail’s tracks. It would stop at Mill Road, Chesterton and North Arbury was well as the former 
stations en route to Swavesey. From this point the tracks have been removed but it would run along 
the trackbed to St Ives and the Hemingfords. 81 05 15a 

1981 11 24 

A whirlwind on the Oxmoor Estate, Huntingdon lasted just a few seconds but flattened garages, sheds 
and fences and tore tiles from dozens of roofs in the Nene Road and Sapley Square area. A third of the 
flat roof at the St Ivo Recreation Centre was also blown away but although people were using the pool 
at the time, no-one was hurt. 81 1 1 24 

1982 01 14 

The Horatio Myer bed company is expanding its site in Windover Road, Huntingdon creating 100 
new jobs. The factory, which opened in 1963, is more up to date then their 106 year-old London 
building, which is being closed. Huntingdon Jobcentre says it is marvellous news as there are 
currently over 2,000 people unemployed and looking for work. 82 01 14 

1982 08 05 

New firms have been springing up in rural Cambridgeshire at an astonishing rate. Napp Laboratories 
searched for two years before bringing all their British-based operations under one roof in a futuristic 
£8 million building on Cambridge Science Park. Harcostar picked Huntingdon to make industrial 
plastics as it was a London overspill centre with housing. In East Cambridgeshire more than 40 per 
cent of all manufacturing firms are new, employing just over 20 per cent of manufacturing workers. 
But now industrialists are taking a gloomy view of the area’s prospects. 82 08 05a & b 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1983 01 20 

A bonfire night prank by three Huntingdon teenagers misfired when their home-made bomb blew up a 
wartime pill box. They used their classroom knowledge to build the bomb using household 
ingredients, a gas lighter and a watch as a timing device. They thought it would illuminate the inside 
of the pill box for a pretty bonfire night display. Instead it ripped apart the 12ft-square brick and 
concrete structure with walls two feet thick. 83 01 20a 

1983 05 11 

The new Home Office forensic laboratories at Huntingdon is a world of X-ray fluorescent 
spectrometers and scanning electron microscopes. Much of the equipment has been manufactured by 
Cambridge firms. But a simple wallpaper steam roller is one of the most useful gadgets. It is covered 
with sticky tape and used to pick up any fibres from the clothes of victims. 83 05 11 pl2, 83 05 14 p7 

1983 05 12 

Huntingdon Hosiery Mill which has stood empty for three years since its £150,000 renovation, may 
be turned into flats. The mill, which was built in the 1850s on the banks of the Ouse has been bought 
by a Cottenham developer. Some 80 units are being planned ranging from studio flats to two- 
bedroomed apartments with prices from £15-£30,000. 83 05 12 p9 

1983 09 09 

Hunts County Bats, tucked away down an alley in Huntingdon High Street, is fast becoming 
internationally known for the bats it makes for some of the world’s top cricketers including them 
Pakistan Captain, Imran Khan. Orders have come rolling in since the company was set up six months 
ago following the closure of County Sports of Little Paxton. At present the two craftsmen, Tony Cook 
and Bob Hook can make 60 bats a week and wince at the prospect of a large order book. 83 09 09 p25 

1983 09 17 

Women will be able to give birth as naturally as possible - without drugs in a relaxed no-rules 
atmosphere - at the new maternity unit at Huntingdon’s Hinchingbrooke Hospital. When labour pains 
start, they will not take to their beds but move round right up to the time of the birth. They will also be 
able to he in water to counteract the pain of the first stage of labour, says John Hare, the consultant 
who has studied natural childbirth. 83 09 17 plO 

1984 05 30 

Huntingdon’s former county hospital, which closed after the new one in Hinchingbrooke Park opened 
in 1983, has been put on the market. The main building with its classical style dates from 1854 when 
it opened following a public subscription. The removal of post-war additions to the front would 
restore the building to its original well-proportioned splendour, estate agents say. Possible uses 
include offices, a nursing home or an educational establishment. 84 05 30 pl7 

1984 05 11 

Millie Howes of Houghton will be reliving fond memories when she settles down to watch her 
television. She worked in the Portholme aircraft factory at Huntingdon during the First World War 
helping build Camel fighters. A film made in about 1917 is to be shown on the programme showing 
Millie working in the factory. “When we first started we were given carpentry lessons, then put on 
fuselages and had to put the struts in and wire them up, I supposed where worked on two planes a 
day”, she remembers. We earned £2 a week, which was good money, but it wasn’t very warm and we 
had no canteen”, she says 84 05 1 1 pl3 

1984 05 14 

A Huntingdon family escaped unhurt as their country house was wrecked, Fire struck thee six- 
bedroomed home in Abbots Ripton Road, Sapley and forty firemen spent ten hours fighting a 
ferocious blaze. The other recent thatched roof fires were ah at pubs, at Covington near Kimbolton 
and Marholm and Elton near Peterborough. 84 05 14 pi 


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1984 08 02 

Government changes on the rules as to how much local councils can spend of the cash raised through 
the sale of council houses will hit South Cambs RDC. It faces cutting projects worth more than 
£3million. Similar cutbacks could be made in Huntingdon where the construction of a car park in 
Prince’s Street and pedestrian plans for the town centre could be under threat. But East Cambs could 
escape unscathed. 84 08 02 plO 

1984 11 01 

The former Huntingdon County Hospital could be turned into a ‘retirement village’. A Norfolk firm 
plan to transform the Mill Common site into a complex of 87 one and two-bedroomed flats. The listed 
Georgian building, which closed to patients a year ago, is to be the nucleus of the new development 
which will have recreational facilities, a library and a communal laundry. 84 1 1 01 p7 

1085 02 27 

While much of the country is wracked by unemployment, Cambridgeshire is suffering from a chronic 
shortage of skilled labour such as laboratory workers and electronics test engineers. The problem is 
such a threat to the area’s development and continued prosperity that the Chamber of Commerce is 
launching a major new initiative. A Jobs Fair will be held at Huntingdon Technical College and the 
Government’s Employment Secretary is being asked to open it. 85 02 27 

1984 04 01 

Huntingdon forensic police laboratories - 84 04 Ola 

1985 05 09 

Huntingdon and Newport Stations took joint first prize in the Best Kept Railway Station competition 
with Ely coming joint third. At Huntingdon the 1 1 staff ensure extra care is taken with disabled 
passengers, posters and leaflets are kept tidy, brasses and windows cleaned and polished and 
customers kept informed of breakdowns or delays. There are even six hanging baskets. At Newport 
senior railwayman Jack Wright and his partner Percy Turner also take a pride in their work while at 
Ely staff often bring in flowers from their own gardens to brighten up the platforms. 85 05 09a 

1985 07 12 

Huntingdon Methodist Church has launched a £200,000 restoration appeal for repairs to the 100-year- 
old High Street building - 85 07 12a 

1985 08 09 

A pilot and navigator scrambled away unscathed when their Canberra jet on take-off and caught fire 
at RAF Alconbury. The photo-reconnaissance plane had switched to the airfield while improvements 
are carried out at Wyton. Twenty-nine people have died in military manoeuvres over East Anglia in 
the last nine years. A Canberra practicing a simulated engine failure crashed near a row of houses on 
the Oxmore Estate, Huntingdon in May 1977. Then in December an American FI - 1 1 narrowly missed 
a school when it plunged into a housing estate at Newmarket. 85 08 09 

1986 01 13 

Lola Cars moved to Huntingdon in 1971 having started in a lock-up garage in Bromley. It is now the 
second most successful small racing car maker in the country with plans to build 75 cars this year. 

The workforce has doubled. People associate motor racing with glamorous surroundings but at 
Huntingdon they have skilled labour, a good road network and two race circuits nearby. The Lola 
works team is run by Hollywood star Paul Newman and the cars are driven by ex-Formula 1 world 
champion Mario Andretti. 86 01 13a 

1986 04 24 

Michael Copley and Dag Ingram were undergraduates at Churchill College in the ‘70s. One had a 
recorder and the other borrowed £5 to buy an accordion and they started playing on Saturday morning 
in Lion Yard. One day they received a knock on the door from a policeman. He wanted to book them 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


for a policeman’s ball at Huntingdon. The Cambridge Buskers were on their way to stardom. They 
toured Germany and did a recording with Deutche Grammophon which made them pop stars. Now 
they have been invited back to Cambridge to play at the University Music Club 86 04 24c 

1986 06 04 

The Commemoration Hall, one of Huntingdon’s best-known landmarks, is crumbling and needs 
thousands of pounds spent on it. Even though funding has not yet been agreed immediate work has 
been started due to concern over masonry falling into the street,. The final repair bill for renewing and 
rebuilding a parapet and decorated cornice at roof level could be £10,000. The 145 -year-old former 
Literary and Scientific Institute, now owned by the town council, is used as a meeting place. 86 06 04 

1987 01 22 

A 16th-century listed building has been demolished without permission, councillors claim. The timber 
framed former Spastics Society shop is part of a shops and flats redevelopment site in Huntingdon 
High Street. But the architects say the place was in a terrible condition and simply collapsed when 
builders were removing tiles from the roof. The whole thing was rotten. It has not all fallen down, but 
the front wall has gone. 87 01 22 

1987 05 13 

A statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of Wisdom, which stood on the top of Huntingdon’s 
Commemoration Hall for more than a century, has now been restored after being missing for 27 years. 
Three broken bits of the original statue were found in the Hall basement and taken to the county 
records office until a £3,000 glass fibre replica was made recently. Town clerk Ted Bocking, council 
architect John Rudman and parks superintendent John Childs joined forces to lift the new bronze- 
coated figure back into place 40 feet above the High Street 87 05 13 

1987 09 17 

Residents in Huntingdon’s Victoria Square have complained about vandalism and unruly children 
who overturn seats on the green to form a tennis net. 87 09 17 

1987 09 28 

The Fenland Witch is a new Saturday bus service set up to help villagers in the Somersham area. It 
will enable people from Pidley, Broughton, the Raveleys and Upwood to travel to Huntingdon or 
Ramsey giving time for shopping and linking to connections to Cambridge or Peterborough. The 
vehicle has been hired from Dew and Sons by a former bus driver more as a community service than a 
commercial venture. 87 09 28 

1988 03 17 

Huntingdon Auxiliary Fire Service disbanded 1968 - memories 88 03 17d 
1988 04 12 

Huntingdon’s Oxmoor estate has been branded the most deprived housing area in Cambridgeshire. A 
report by the Children’s Society claims it has high levels of deprivation, crime, delinquency, 
unemployment, isolation and loneliness. But the Society says it should not have been named in their 
magazine since labelling communities as deprived can make people resistant to receiving their help. 
The estate was build between 1958 and 1975 for London overspill housing and accounts for one-third 
of the town’s population. 88 04 12a 

1988 04 27 

A major row is brewing over the future location of Papworth Hospital and its world-famous heart 
transplant programme. Health Chiefs are debating whether it should be closed completely or relocated 
to Cambridge or Huntingdon. The benefits of Addenbrooke's sophisticated support services have been 
overtaken by worries that an upsurge in university research-based medicine could adversely affect 
routine patient care. Whatever happens it will stay put for at least 10 years. 88 04 27 


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Huntingdon Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 


1988 06 10 

The final phase of Huntingdon northern bypass opened five months ahead of schedule. The stretch 
from Hartford to St Ives is part of the £5 million scheme which saw the Spittals roundabout section 
completed in 1980, allowing industrial growth west of the railway in Huntingdon. The contractors 
also had to build a railway bridge across the east coast main line. An estimated 14,000 vehicles will 
use the bypass each year. 88 06 10 

1988 11 03 

The revolutionary new DNA profiling technique has just gone into operation at the regional forensic 
science laboratory at Huntingdon. The new unit will carry out work for 10 police forces including 
murder, rape and violent assault. The system could eventually provide information such as the colour 
of the attacker’s eyes and stature, scientists claim. Older techniques such as blood testing which can 
produce quicker, if less precise results, will continue to be used. 88 1 1 03 

1988 11 25 

Social services have stepped in to protect two children seriously disturbed after being caught up in 
satanic practices amid revelations that witchcraft is widespread. Coven and devil worship groups are 
probably active in Cambridge and black magic activity is known in the Huntingdon area claims a 
clergyman, one of five trained to combat the black arts. The vicar of Buntingford has dealt with 
youngsters "frightened out of their wits' by dabbling with the occult 88 11 25. 

1989 01 12 

In the centre of Huntingdon stands a building dating back to the 12th century where Oliver Cromwell 
and the diarist Samuel Pepys went to school. For the last 25 years it has been home to the Cromwell 
Museum, packed with artefacts relating to the Lord Protector. It has recently undergone a renovation 
to enhance the displays of artefacts such his hat, a gunpowder flask with his initials and his medicine 
cabinet. It is the only public collection of material on Oliver Cromwell in the country and attracts 
visitors from around the world. 89 01 12a 

1989 01 27 

Huntingdon Petersfield day centre under threat - 89 01 27 
1989 06 29 

Cambridge and Huntingdon could do particularly well out of the booming economy. But labour, 
training and housing shortages must all be solved. Two public inquiries will be held into the new A10 
and A45 settlements, but even when the long process is completed it will be several years before the 
thousands of new homes come on to the market. However the closure of the Co-op milk bottling plant 
and Girton laundry mean people with no qualifications are being made unemployed. They may have 
to move leaving a county of yuppies with few to service their needs 89 06 29 

1989 12 28 

Two events put Huntingdon on the world map during the 1980s. The first came when a derelict 
wartime bomber station at Molesworth was selected as a nuclear base. The second was when MP John 
Major was plucked from relative obscurity to be given two top Cabinet jobs in the space of three 
months. But most important has been the town’s solid growth from a sleepy backwater into one of the 
fastest-growing areas in the country with the population expected to soar to 36,000 by the year 2001 . 
89 12 28a 

1990 05 1 1 

Railway - last 125 InterCity diesel at Huntingdon; replaced by electric trains - 90 05 1 la 
1990 06 09 

Private Cromwell Centre, Huntingdon rocked by blast - 90 06 09 
1990 08 28 

Harcostar factory, Huntingdon, fire - 90 08 28b 


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